No matter that it’s a flimsy conspiracy theory constructed on a single text message between lovers, Republicans are all in on this “there’s a ‘secret society’ in the FBI to destroy Donald Trump” thing. Even if they make themselves look like fools.
Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is the kind of establishment guy who about 15 months back probably did not imagine himself being asked for comment on whether the FBI was out to get Trump based on the evidence of a single personal text message, so … he’s trying not to comment.
I just asked Mnuchin if he thinks there's a secret society in the FBI conspiring against the president. "I'm not going to comment on that"— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) January 25, 2018
Problem being, if he’s unwilling to say “no, this is loony,” then he’s complicit. But that’s Mnuchin, so eager to suck up to Trump he won’t draw any line, anywhere, ever. As a fun side note, Mnuchin should know from secret societies: he was a Skull and Bones member at Yale.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was a far more enthusiastic, if less consequential, participant in this particular conspiracy theory. Appearing on CNN, he was repeatedly humiliated by Chris Cuomo (including about the Bible!), yet kept coming back for more. Gaetz smirked as Cuomo pointed out that thousands of other FBI phones are missing text messages from the same period:
Cuomo: How could it be that such a big conspiracy was undertaken just to hide what these two people were saying from you?
Gaetz: Chris, you’re talking about undermining the president of the United States! Of course, it’s one hell of a conspiracy and people at the top levels of our government were involved in it. That’s why this is so treacherous! That’s why we’ve got to find out if—you made mention of Trump interviewing Mueller, I think that’s one heck of—
Cuomo: Mueller interviewing Trump.
Okay, guy. I know you’re just a random conspiracy theorist extremist Republican in your first term in Congress—not exactly a cabinet member, even by the low requirements of the Trump cabinet—but come on, now. This big conspiracy was far-reaching and powerful enough to disappear months of texts from thousands of FBI employees, but missed the single text that provided the clue about what was going on? For that matter, you want us to believe that the crack professionals of the deep state are menacing our freedom (or whatever) and they’re not smart enough to do it on burner phones? This particular conspiracy theory requires a secret society of people who are simultaneously competent enough to endanger a president and good enough at keeping secrets to have this giant sprawling conspiracy only just now beginning to surface … and yet too f’ing stupid to take secrecy measures common to any low-level drug dealer.