It has been amusing, infuriating and telling that President Trump has clutched his life raft, “No collusion,” so tightly. Even as administration defenders have been out there saying there is no legal definition for the word “collusion,” at the same time Trump righteously proclaims there was none of whatever it might be.

The beauty of this little gem of a phrase is not only that it resists meaning but also its passive voice. Trump doesn’t appear in it. It shares the exalted realm of statements such as “Mistakes were made,” only better! It is essentially “There were no mistakes.” Vague, but ambitious!

But even this clever formulation turned out to be too clever by a half-wit. Because now there is so much evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that even his attorney, former America’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is walking it back. Or rather dragging its badly wounded body off the legal battlefield.

Trump might have thought this far ahead, if he thought ahead. But he didn’t even care if his precious “no collusion" defense held up over time. It was perfect for the moment he said it, which is perfect enough for Trump. He always has new options, one for every new moment in time. He can stop saying it if it isn’t true anymore, or if it was never true to begin with. Or he can insist that he never said it. Or that he was talking about something else, or somebody else. Or it’s fake news, or if caught on tape, he can now say “deep fake!” From the deep state!

It’s all the same when you have no respect for the truth. Or for your own citizens whom you are lying to.

Read more: