Collecting Dirt and Granting Favors

It sounds odd when you say it, but look closely and it is true: what National Enquirer did for Trump is nearly identical to what Putin continues to do for and him in most of the key features and dynamics.

In both cases, a third party held damaging information that Trump wanted covered up. In both cases, Trump stood to gain personally, professionally, and financially from that information remaining out of the public eye for years if not forever. And in both cases, the amount of leverage the third party had over Trump increased every time he and his people lied about the facts of the matter.

The details matter of course. They always do. But in both cases, Trump’s tendency to lie dug him more deeply into a compromising position, and unlike in business, he can’t just declare bankruptcy or settle out of court to get free and clear. We’re all stuck with him and his compromised position until we declare him to be bankrupt and send him home.

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