President Trump's effort to paint Joe Biden as c0rrupt — debunked by fact checkers — fits a pattern for Trump attacks on enemies, Axios' Neal Rothschild writes:
- Raise deeply serious questions, regardless of what the facts say; hammer on those questions; never, ever seek finality.
Why it matters: Trump tries to plant seeds of suspicion and doubt, even if he doesn't actually prove a case. He incubates the attacks in perpetuity, rather than seeking an actual resolution.
- But in Biden's case, they've backfired in a way Trump couldn't have imagined.
- Ask questions, raising the specter of wrongdoing
- Be vague and broad with accusations — specifics can be proven wrong
- Never seek finality. Once it's over, the attack goes stale.
- The innuendo is always more titillating than the real story.
This is how Trump has worked for years — and not just when he has an election opponent:
1. When Trump promoted the "birther" conspiracy against Barack Obama.
- It wasn't until Obama produced his long-form birth certificate that Trump gave it up, saying: "I was able to do something that nobody else could do."
2. When Trump leveled charges of voter fraud in the 2016 election.
- He formed a commission. After states declined to provide information, the commission disbanded.
3. When Trump accused Obama of tapping his phones.
- He later said the claim was based "on a little bit of a hunch."
4. When Trump cast "deep state" government workers as agents covertly working to undermine the policy aims of his administration.
5. When Trump paints immigrants as criminals.
6. When Trump hammered (and continues to hammer) Clinton over her emails.
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