Last night in London I took part in a debate staged by the How To Academy on Trump’s 100 Days.
I was on the pro side with journalist Melanie Phillips.
On the anti side of the debate were the Guardian‘s Jonathan Freedland and a flakcatcher from the Clinton era called James Rubin.
Let me tell you the bad news first: Trump derangement syndrome is everywhere, at least as bad in London as it is in the US.
To listen to my debate opponents you would have imagined that the US had recently elected to the presidency a cross between It the Clown, the Boston Strangler, Dr Strangelove and Alger Hiss. I’m fine with a bit of extravagant rhetoric but there were several moments where both Melanie’s and my jaw dropped at the outrageousness of the charges levelled by Freedland and Rubin at the Trump administration.
By what stretch of the imagination, for example, could former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn be described as a “foreign agent”? This was the phrase used by Guardian man Freedland in his speech and it got many laughs from the audience – Trump: the guy so bad he actually has Russky spies in his administration. But if the case against Trump is really such a slam-dunk as his critics seem to imagine, then surely there’d be no need so grotesquely to exaggerate his flaws?
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