"Was he in denial? Is he just not too bright? Or what???"
Maybe. Or maybe there was one of a load of other explanations, or maybe some of the "facts" aren't quite right or there are other that haven't come out. Who knows - I certainly don't, and nor do the people who've been leaping in here with accusations.
In time the full facts can be properly looked at. But grabbing facts out of the air at a distance and casting blame that way is in my view just a wrong thing to do. It's rushing to judgement, and that is a key part of the lynching mentality.