The ex-congressman who threatened to take up arms if Donald Trump lost the election now says the president-elect is acting like an “almost treasonous” child. How one month can change everything.
Former Rep. Joe Walsh, now a radio host best known for his fiery commentary that long foreshadowed the rise of Trumpism (he was once suspended for dropping the n-word on-air), excoriated on Monday the president-elect for his handling of reports that U.S. intelligence officials believe the pre-election hack attacks on the Clinton campaign and the DNC were a Russian government attempt to sway the outcome.
“There's evidence Russia messed around with our election, but cuz our guy won, people on my side are ok with that? That's so fucking wrong,” Walsh tweeted on Saturday. “What's ridiculous is you believing Russia over our own intelligence agencies,” he later tweeted at the president-elect, in response to his dismissal of the CIA reports.
When news broke over the weekend that CIA officials say it’s “quite clear” the Russians cyber-attacked in order to help Trump win the presidency, the president-elect and his supporters have roundly dismissed any such suggestion.
The transition team initially released a statement tying the CIA to the Bush administration’s erroneous belief in Iraq-held WMDs (not quite true); his many surrogates have flooded the media with claims that the hack was a “false flag” operation; and Trump himself took to Twitter to skeptically ask “Why wasn't this brought up before election?” (it was).
“So wait...the CIA says Russia messed with our election to help Trump win and Trump attacks...the CIA? Not Russia? He goes after the CIA?” Walsh continued over the weekend. He called House Speaker Paul Ryan a “coward” for not immediately backing an investigation of the hacks; he said other Republicans who don’t join the anti-Russia fight “should resign.”
His tweetstorm was a far cry from the rhetoric of a man who wrote, two weeks before the election, that “On November 9th, if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket. You in?”
And his fury continued Monday with an appearance on CNN.
“For Donald Trump to come out and attack our men and women in the CIA,” Walsh said to host Brooke Baldwin, “that’s almost treasonous.”
He further fumed: “I’m outraged at the lack of outrage, especially on my side. I get that the country's divided, but my God, a foreign government interfered with our election. That should piss everybody off!”
“There’s no debate,” Walsh continued. “All Republicans and Democrats in D.C. know [the Russians] interfered with this election. For Donald Trump to call it ridiculous and not believe it, he ought to be ashamed of himself.”
“I think he's acting like a third grader,” he seethed. “Maybe a fourth grader.”
Pressed by Baldwin on how he could turn so quickly on the man he so vociferously defended just a month ago, Walsh said, “I have a problem with any foreign government trying to pick our president.”
And, finally, he lamented: “If Donald Trump is watching right now, he blocked me on Twitter, so he doesn't follow me any more.”
The truest sign that this bromance is officially over.