Donald Trump appears to be very, very bothered by the leaked intelligence report claiming Russia compiled a dossier of dirt on Trump that it could use to blackmail him. So bothered, in fact, that he’s comparing the country he will soon lead to Nazi Germany on Twitter.
It started innocently enough by Trump standards — with a series of tweets denying any links to Russia, and claiming that the report is an attempt to undermine him:
Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is "A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE." Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
I win an election easily, a great "movement" is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Then it builds to the climax — a tweet claiming that America’s spies, who will soon serve Trump, are acting like Nazis:
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
There’s part of me that just wants to be furious at Trump for trivializing the memory of Nazi Germany like this. We are not, in fact, living in a totalitarian nightmare where Jews are slaughtered in camps, like most of my family was. This kind of casual invocation of Nazism is offensive enough when it comes from random Twitter troll accounts. But to come from the soon-to-be president of the United States, it’s hard to take.
But there’s another part of me, the more analytic part, that marvels at it. We’re currently living in an era where the intelligence community is so mad at the president-elect that it’s leaking unverified reports that he engaged prostitutes in Russia, and was filmed by Russian intelligence doing so. The president-elect’s response is to suggest that American spies are acting like Nazis (though I’m not sure how).
This is real life. This is the time in history we’re living in. And, in all likelihood, it’s only going to get worse.