Aug 13 2019
11:35 am

From the Not-So-Farfetched File:

It has been a summer of Trump Administration confusion regarding foreign policy basics—things like place names and recent history. Presidential adviser Ivanka Trump outdid her father’s creation of the country of Nambia by congratulating Boris Johnson on leading the United Kingston.

President Trump then offered U. S. aid to Russia to fight Siberian forest fires—not suggesting better raking as he did for California. Confused as Trump is after conversations with Vladimir Putin, Trump also suggested the Soviet Union dissolution was a rebranding effort.

I spent part of this summer in Prague, vainly seeking Michael Cohen’s cell phone. At one point, however, I was whisked away for a secret meeting. Norwegian spymaster Kjell Slartibartfast met me at an Oslo café across from his cover office at the Fjord Foundation. The smell of lutefisk hung in the air as Kjell said, “Mark, he outed us masterfully.”

Slartibartfast was referencing earlier this summer when ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos pressed President Trump about future foreign interference in our elections, and Trump’s mind crisply went to the most likely culprit, Norway.


“Wow,” I replied, “so you are planning to interfere in the 2020 election?”

“Yah,” he murmured, “We will let the world know that Trump’s own intelligence agencies don’t trust him with the details of counter-espionage work,” Slartibartfast declared.

“But that was in the New York Times,” I retorted.

“See, it’s working,” declared the Norwegian spymaster, “now all will know that Trump is either a Russian asset, or what the Russians call a useful idiot.”

“He could just be so massively incompetent he shouldn’t be trusted with national secrets,” I suggested.

“Good enough,” smiled Slartibartfast. “The Cold War is still hot above the Arctic Circle. We share a 121-mile land border with Russia. We get good information on what they’re up to. They’re planning a massive disinformation and disruption campaign for 2020. Trump is so thin-skinned about his dubious 2016 election, he’s looking the other way.”

“And in the U. S. Senate,” I added, “Moscow Mitch McConnell won’t even bring up election security bills.”

“Now, you’re getting it,” he replied. “Helsinki is not far from here. When Trump took Putin’s word over his own intelligence agencies, we knew the European alliance was threatened. We must counter the Russian disinformation campaign with true information. Our scientists have a plan to manipulate the Aurora Borealis to spell out ‘Mueller Report,’” he glowed.

“Too northern,” I dismissed.

“We’re distributing, via Twitter, Facebook, and the Minnesota Vikings website, reminders of his payments to cover affairs, and the obstruction of justice evidence.”

“That’s all public record, Kjell, this doesn’t sound like much of a plan.”

“I’ve saved the best for last,” snickered Slartibartfast. “Tax returns and pee-pee tape.”

“Kjell!” I exploded. “You may have just saved America.”

Mark D. Harmon is a professor of journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee, and a regional vice chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

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