Thanks to Matt Gaetz and his sad, creepy sex life, we finally know just how vile a person in Donald Trump’s orbit has to be before even Donald Trump thinks it’s not worth defending them.
Abroad, Trump called Kim Jong Un his friend, defended Vladimir Putin (“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”), and shrugged off Mohammed bin Salman’s murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi (“The world is a very dangerous place!”). Three years after Eddie Gallagher was convicted of posing with the body of an Iraqi he’d just killed and long after the Navy SEAL had been credibly accused by fellow soldiers of a litany of war crimes, he was photographed with Melania and Donald.
At home, Trump stood behind Kyle Rittenhouse after he shot and killed two people at a Black Lives Matter protest. He called the Charlottesville white supremacists “very fine people” after one of them ran his car through counterprotesters and murdered Heather Heyer. He said of the crazed conspiracists of QAnon, “I’ve heard these are people that love our country” and claimed that the Jan. 6 insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol were “hugging and kissing the police and the guards. You know, they had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in and then they walked in and they walked out.” He stood by Bible-waving Senate candidate Roy Moore after women came out and said he’d creeped on them when they were in their teens. By Jason Miller, after his ex, fellow Trump staffer A.J. Delgado, said in court papers that he’d slipped an abortion bill into another woman’s smoothie. By Mike Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty, and Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, whose sentences he commuted after they were found guilty. Hell, he pardoned Republican congressmen Chris Collins, Duncan Hunter, and Steve Stockman as a reward for those crooks’ loyal support.