A funny thing happened this week, for three days President Donald Trump behaved in a new and unexpected way. Then he returned to his former self and we could understand more about his tactics.
For three days #President Donald Trump was missing in action. After the good reception to his speech in Congress Tuesday night he went into a period of silence. This silence then continued even after the revelations of contacts by #Attorney General #Jeff Sessions with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s Ambassador to the United States that had not been revealed during his confirmation hearings.
This then led to Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s investigations of alleged Russian interference during the presidential campaing in favour of the man now sitting in the Oval Office.
As a result of his Address in Congress where the world saw a new calmer and responsible President some believed that he had finally assumed the role of Commander in Chief with all the gravitas expected of the position. His continued silence during the controversy involving his Attorney General seemed to confirm this impression.
Then in the space of a few hours this impression was blown out of the water.
On Thursday evening and during Friday Donald Trump once more took to Twitter to express his frustration and anger at the developments. As had been his wont previously his targets were the newspapers and the Democrat politicians.
He accused them all of hypocrisy, that they had also been in contact with the Russian Ambassador and that the Democrat Leaders should also be investigated for these contacts.
Amazingly he even complained that the Democrats were responsible for the delay in the confirmation hearings in the Republican controlled Senate and despite the fact that in at least one case, that of the new Labor secretary, the required paperwork had still not been forwarded to the Senate by the #White House to begin the process.
This behaviour was revealing not only of the character of the President, but also of his use of tweets.
Donald Trump has shown that he finds it difficult, if not impossible, to address issues. The complaints made by tweet and in the constant off the cuff comments in public and press conferences are not ones that can be addressed in 140 characters, or in quick slogans.
The use of Twitter by the occupant of the White House is simply a new form of an old political tactic, that of distraction to divert attention from the real issues.
The late night tweets and the impromptu comments are not replies to the questions asked and the issues raised even before he won election on November 8th. They simply seek to avoid the issue.
In fact the allegations are so serious that they are now under investigation by the country’s intelligence community and no amount of distraction will make these investigations finish sooner to dispel the concern felt not only in the country, but also amongst America’s allies worried by Russia's recent aggressive activities in a number of countries.
The tactics of diversion are not an answer. Only Donald Trump can provide the answers to the questions that are casting shadows over his Presidency. The choice is his whether he will do so or wait until the intelligence community has completed investigations.
In any case, this week the President has shown simply that the answers do not interest him, only the diversions. This does no true favours to the country he serves or in respect to the oath he swore on the day of his Inauguration.
Indeed, in the long run they will only reflect on him and worsen the impact of the findings whenever they arrive. The choice, as always, is now his.