by John R. Schindler
John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. Read his full bio here.
In a recent column I noted how President Donald Trump seemingly can bend time in a near-supernatural fashion. Our commander-in-chief’s “fine-honed ability to make days seem like weeks and weeks seem like months, even years,” I observed, has the remarkable effect of nullifying even grave mistakes by jam-packing them into short periods of time so “they blur into each other inside the news cycle and soon melt into the morass of Trumpism.”
Even by Trumpian standards, yesterday was one for the record books. “Cover” is an espionage term that means a spy is pretending to be something he’s not to do his job: most often a diplomat, but there are many covers. This features prominently in spy novels and films yet in practice is frequently mundane and far from exciting. At root, cover exists because you will quickly be unmasked and probably arrested if you let everyone know you’re not the insurance salesman you pretend to be, rather a spy. Cover exists because it must.
Yesterday, after months of slippage, Team Trump finally blew its cover, exposing that it possesses a strange and unsettling fealty to the Kremlin for which there is no longer any benign explanation. Any one of yesterday’s bombshell developments would overtake the news cycle for weeks in any normal White House, yet this administration is anything but normal.