Witch hunt or mole hunt? Times bombshell blows up all theories
The latest news about the president could prove to be the greatest example of cognitive bias in history.
The New York Times has published another bombshell with a story that President Trump was named as a possible national security threat in a counterintelligence operation that was launched after his inauguration.
If true, this is likely the only time in history that the FBI has investigated whether a sitting president was either a knowing or unknowing agent of a foreign power. However, the real benefit of the investigative story may not be the original suspicion but how it could explain the course both sides took into our current quagmire. What if there were no collusion or conspiracy but simple cognitive bias on both sides, where the actions of one seemed to confirm precisely the suspicions of the other?
There are now two possibilities. The first is that Trump was, indeed, some “manchurian candidate” placed in the Oval Office by Russia and controlled from afar by Vladimir Putin. Many are unlikely to ever accept any other possibility, though the New York Times story does not suggest this counterintelligence operation found any basis for the original allegation. Indeed, the problem arose when part of the operation was made public, as such operations are usually completed and never disclosed. In this case, various forces led to a partial disclosure that Trump associates were investigated and that Trump himself might be compromised.