The unpopularly elected Donald Trump knows something deep down in the recesses of his addled brain: Without millions of dollars of illegal Russian-funded help, he might never have been elected. And he’s not about to risk going it alone on the strength of his “stable genius” in 2020.
The Daily Beast approached every announced 2020 candidate with the basic question of whether they would commit to not knowingly using information stolen from other campaigns in their bids to become the next president. Every Democratic candidate made some form of commitment to that principle, but the current occupant of the Oval Office? No way.
Numerous attempts to obtain comment from the Trump campaign were not returned. But after publication, Kayleigh McEnany, the Trump campaign’s national press secretary, sent the following note: “We’re not in the business of taking pledges invented by the liberal online media.”
Honestly, why would Trump stop cheating now, when everything he’s ever gotten in life has come through some form of swindle? He doesn’t give a damn about the preservation of the republic, the integrity of our democratic institutions, the rule of law, justice, fairness, public service, or even his own reputation. He cares about power and what he can use it to do. And he both wants and needs the presidency, with its inherent powers, especially as a swirl of criminal investigations hover over him like a tornado readying to touch down.
On the Democratic side, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign issued one of the strongest statements, written in the candidate’s own name, arguing that both the media and the campaigns needed to heed the “serious lessons” of 2016. “I vow that our campaign will not seek out stolen hacked information from foreign adversaries or knowingly weaponize or promote stolen hacked materials, and I urge all of my colleagues in the 2020 field to pledge the same,” read Gillibrand’s statement.
Again, every Democratic candidate took the pledge in some form or another. Only Trump refused to play by the rules that everyone else embraced as legal, fair, and indeed imperative to the preservation of our democratic government.
As Sen. Cory Booker’s spokesperson Jeff Giertz noted, “Unlike Donald Trump who welcomed and encouraged election interference from a foreign adversary, our campaign condemns the use for political gain of information or material obtained by illegal means.”