Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) has shown himself to be a man of ideas, all of them apparently silly. Earlier this month, for example, he catapulted his name into the headlines with an op-ed in which he suggested banning semi-automatic rifles, buying them back, and finally prosecuting those who refused to turn them over.
Perhaps looking to extend his Warholian 15 minutes, the congressman has now stumbled upon not only proof that the Trump campaign was in cahoots with the Russians but the secret means by which the co-conspirators communicated back and forth. It was through jokes.
He dropped this bombshell during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” During the exchange, Swalwell, who is a member of both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, called his host’s attention to a joke candidate Trump cracked while on the campaign trail in July 2016. Here is a clip of Trump’s speech on that occasion. See if you can pick up on the hidden communique embedded within it:
Did you hear it? At 0:36, Trump says:
Russia, it you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.
There you have it: A man who would be president inviting a foreign nation to hack into the private files of his opponent! According to Swalwell, the mere attempt by Trump to get the Russians to hack Clinton’s emails was, in and of itself, a crime.
Carlson responded with tongue planted firmly in cheek:
If you’re trying to make secret contact with Russia, your handlers back in Moscow, wouldn’t you dial them up on the short wave in the basement? Would you really send a coded message in the middle of a joke at a press conference?
Swalwell took the bait: “I’m not saying he’s the smartest guy in the world, Tucker. Never accused him of that.”
Here’s the video:
(h/t Conservative Tribune)