Mark Cuban, billionaire and gadfly, thinks Trump can be exonerated from any blame if the Russian connection story goes full bore.
“No chance this is a DJT led conspiracy,” Cuban wrote in a series of tweets, referring to Trump’s initials. He argued that Trump “isn’t detail oriented, organized or big picture enough” to pull off any such “conspiracy.”
Instead, Cuban argued in a series of tweets that Russian President Vladimir Putin “recognized [Trump’s] greed and took advantage by back channeling coordinated misinformation in an attempt to influence voters.”
“Russians have made him a lot of money buying condos and investing in his buildings and hosting his beauty pageant,” Cuban wrote of Trump. “That makes them his friends. He ignored their backgrounds. But that’s not unusual. Starbucks takes anyone’s money and so do most businesses including mine.”
The Dallas Mavericks owner went on to argue that Trump wasn’t thinking about Russian influence when he hired Paul Manafort as a top adviser to his campaign. Trump viewed it as a “win win,” Cuban argued, with Manafort either helping Trump win the election or being good for future business deals with Russia if he lost.
Cuban theorized that Trump didn’t stop to think that Manafort or other advisers who joined his campaign and who had ties to Russia were motivated by Moscow. Trump was thinking more like a businessman than a politician, Cuban argued.
So in the same vein that Ronald Reagan was able to say he had no idea what his underlings were doing in Iran-Contra, Mr. Cuban is saying that Trump will be able to claim that he was just doing normal — for him — business and all the hacking and propaganda that went on were all done without his knowledge or approval.
That worked with Reagan for two reasons: we knew from the outset that he wasn’t a micro-manager of his administration, and we also suspected, especially in his second term, that his health wasn’t all that great and perhaps he was beginning to show the signs of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease so that even if he knew about what was going on, he couldn’t remember.
It will be interesting to see if Trump’s defenders latch on to the “he didn’t know” argument after we’ve been told countless times that he “alone can fix it” and all the other lines about what a smart guy he is. I don’t know how they’ll pivot that to make him sound like he was manipulated, but they’ll come up with something.