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With presidential aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner suddenly scheduled to testify about his meetings with various Russians — including a banker who looks suspiciously like an intelligent agent — Seth Meyers has noticed a pattern: At this point, it would be easier to list the Trump administration staffers who don’t have shady connections with the Kremlin than those who do. And the Late Night host even suspects the White House gardener.

A sense of impending doom seems to have driven Trump to tweet desperately about the Clintons’ supposed Russian connections, while insisting that his own scandal is just a “hoax.” But at long last, Meyers debunks the bogus “Clintons and Russian uranium” story that got so much undeserved traction thanks to Steve Bannon (and the New York Times) during the presidential campaign.

With sardonic flourish, Meyers recounts the latest tales of Devin Nunes playing Inspector Clouseau, jumping in and out of cars, skulking around the White House grounds, deceiving the members of the House Intelligence Committee that he chairs. Did he engage in all that silly skulduggery to uncover surveillance of foreign diplomats gossiping about where Trump had dinner?

It’s our very own dark comedy, unfolding every day.

 

"Performative patriotism" is a fancy way of describing what my father — a veteran of World War II who rarely spoke about his service — called "jelly-bellied flag flappers." Dad always laughed at those phonies, but we now suffer a president who is exactly that type, only worse. And Donald Trump's flag-flapping fakery is no joke.

A performative patriot is someone who, like Trump, oversells his supposed love of country, his reverence for the Stars and Stripes and, especially, his indignation at those whom he suspects of lacking his deep fervor. Such a figure will, like Trump, attempt to market these counterfeit emotions for his own benefit. And like Trump, that loud jingo is someone whose character will lead to a betrayal of American values.

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