From the time President Donald Trump first announced his candidacy, he and his followers have used Hillary Clinton as a rallying point. Three years after the election, Trump's MAGA rallies and followers still trot out chants of "Lock her up" and similar rhetoric online.
But conservative commentator, consultant, editorialist, lecturer and military historian Max Boot has had it with the deflection to former Secretary of State Clinton. In a new OpEd in The Washington Post, Boot states in no uncertain terms that Trump, his associates and his acolytes in the GOP need to knock it off.
In a piece titled "To GOP hypocrites: I never want to hear about Hillary Clinton's emails again," Boot points out the level of hypocrisy required to point to Hillary Clinton's email scandal where she was found to have violated policy and procedure, but not any federal laws while ignoring the many members of the Trump administration who did the same thing as Clinton or worse.
"If there were a global competition for insincerity, President Trump would have won the equivalent of an Oscar, a gold medal, a Ballon d'Or and a Vince Lombardi Trophy combined. You simply could not be more two-faced; it is not humanly possible."
"His picture belongs in the dictionary under the very word 'hypocrisy'."
He then reflected on the MAGA rally chants targeting Clinton.
"Trump, recall, spent much of 2016 leading chants of 'Lock her up!' because Hillary Clinton made the mistake of employing a private server for some of her official emails as secretary of state. Trump still routinely refers to the former first lady and secretary of state as "Crooked Hillary" as if she had actually committed a crime."
Boot pointed out a few details his followers seem oblivious to.
"Never mind that the Justice Department decided not to prosecute and that a lengthy State Department investigation, completed during the Trump administration, found 'no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information'."
Then he added how Trump defines hypocrisy personified.
"And yet, while castigating Clinton for supposedly mishandling classified information, Trump has been engaging in far more egregious examples of the very same sin."
And the noted historian brought receipts.
"He began his presidency, in February 2017, by reviewing classified documents and having a highly sensitive discussion about North Korea with the Japanese prime minister not in a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) but in front of fellow diners on a packed terrace at Mar-a-Lago."
"In May 2017, he revealed top-secret intelligence to the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador during a meeting in the Oval Office, thereby potentially blowing a source of information about the Islamic State."
"In 2018, he reportedly discussed with wealthy donors at a Manhattan fundraiser the classified details of a battle between U.S. forces and Russian mercenaries in Syria."
"In October of this year, Trump revealed details about the raid on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that, as NBC News noted, 'were either highly classified or tactically sensitive, and their disclosure by the president made intelligence and military officials cringe'."
"And, according to a White House whistleblower, Trump overruled the opposition of security officials to grant top-secret security clearances to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump."
Critics of Trump have been pointing out the hypocrisy for years. But the Republicans in Congress who support Trump continue to turn a blind eye to the violations occurring under their noses while harping about a private citizen who is not seeking or holding a federal office.
But Boot had more for members of the GOP to consider.
"But all these security breaches pale by comparison with Trump's promiscuous use of a cellphone to conduct top-secret conversations. My Post colleagues Paul Sonne, Josh Dawsey, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller report that 'Trump has routinely communicated with his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and other individuals speaking on cellphones vulnerable to monitoring by Russian and other foreign intelligence services'."
"This shocking security breach became clear from the cellphone records obtained by the House Intelligence Committee during its impeachment investigation. There are numerous calls between Giuliani and a blocked number listed as '-1' that is widely suspected to belong to Individual 1, i.e., the president of the United States.
"We also know, of course, that Ambassador Gordon Sondland talked with Trump on an unsecure cellphone from the middle of a restaurant in Kyiv."
Boot concluded by stating:
"The only thing more appalling than Trump's cavalier disregard for the basic requirements of handling classified information is the complete lack of concern by his followers who were once so exercised by Clinton's far more innocuous security lapses."
"They are championship hypocrites too. I never want to hear about Hillary's emails again as long as I live."
People concurred with Boot's facts and his assessment.
Whether Boot's OpEd will also fall on deaf ears at the GOP remains to be seen. But the chances of it changing the minds of anyone chanting "Lock her up" at a MAGA rally are slim and none.
To see how we got her, the book Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus is available here.