From his White House days to the present, Donald Trump has made it clear he has a knack for exploiting every moment to promote himself, and in doing so, he’s demonstrated a knack to get a lot of attention for himself.
And yet, if the president of the United States is anything like the president he pretends to be, his actions have tended to become a lot more predictable over time.
So far, so good.
In early April, a series of tweets by Trump became a national news story.
In response to an investigation by the House Intelligence Committee into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the president tweeted that “the Dems, and Dems alone, will get the Russia investigation under control!”
The first thing to note is that this tweet was not made in response to the House probe into the 2016 Russia interference in U.S. elections.
Rather, it was a response to a question by Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.
“Is the president going to answer your question?”
Scarborough asked the president, in reference to the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“He’s not going to talk about it.”
Trump answered Scarborough’s question.
“‘Russia is not our friend, and I can’t believe they would meddle in our elections, but we’re not going anywhere,'” he said.
It is important to note that this is not a statement that Trump is making in a vacuum.
Trump’s tweet was a part of a pattern of Trump-peddling, often in a way that made it seem as if he was giving a shout-out to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as opposed to a call for more aggressive action against the Kremlin.
But as Scarborough noted, “He never actually said that he was going to ‘get the Russia probe under control,'” and he never offered any other specific threat to Putin that would lead to serious consequences.
Rather than offering any specifics, Trump was offering a vague statement that he didn’t think Russia was doing anything wrong.
This is not the first time Trump has used the word “suspect” to describe the Russian government.
While the president has been vocal about the need to confront Russian aggression and interference in American elections, his repeated use of the word suspect is the most direct, and perhaps only, sign that he has serious misgivings about the investigation.
This pattern of statements has been part of Trump’s pattern of behavior since at least 2008.
When the president said he was not going after Putin, he was doing so with the knowledge that the FBI would have no evidence to support his assertion that Russia had meddled in the election, or that Russia was attempting to interfere with the outcome of the election in the United Kingdom, according to CNN.
That pattern of misdirection has continued with the president’s efforts to distract from the Russia probes, as well as the ongoing investigations into his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, the alleged contact between Trump associates and Russians, and the president-elect’s decision to fire James Comey.
Trump’s pattern has become more predictable in the past year.
On July 15, Trump tweeted, “It is time to get serious.
Russia is trying to interfere in our election!”
Then, on Aug. 3, he tweeted, “”If Russia, or any other country, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act?
It was not until after the election that they started leaking information.
“And, last week, Trump made his first direct threat to Russian interference in his presidential campaign, tweeting, “The Democrats and Dems Alone will get #Russia investigation under Control!
“Trump also retweeted a tweet that read, “Russia is a state sponsor of terrorism.
“This pattern of statement-making has been a staple of Trump in recent years.
And the president is hardly the first politician to use it.
The most recent example is former President Bill Clinton, who said in 2004 that he would not pursue an investigation into the former president’s relationship with the Russian mafia, according of CNN.
And Trump himself has been using the word suspiciously throughout his presidency.
During his first full week in office, Trump told a joint session of Congress, “I will not investigate President Putin.”
In response, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R, Wisconsin, said that Trump was “making an assertion that he is not going into the Putin investigation.”
Trump responded by tweeting, “”Paul Ryan is a liar and should not be trusted!”
Ryan added, “His claim is completely false.
This was a statement he made in his own words.”
A Trump tweet is hardly unusual in the Trump era.
One of the president Trump’s most frequent targets, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R., California, was one of the first lawmakers to come forward with a statement in March, in response “to the false accusations of Russian collusion