At a certain point, it stopped being surprising that Donald Trump would take Vladimir Putin’s side in regards to…well anything really. He has made it perfectly clear that he admires the man, and that he’ll take the man’s word over his own intelligence networks. But now Trump is at the point where he’s parroting the man’s talking points in his own interviews. When Trump starts acting as a surrogate or representative of the Putin Regime…I mean seriously, where are we then? When does it stop being a joke that Putin is really leading the country?
I think I spend an unhealthy amount of time trying to understand Donald Trump and his logic. Because I feel like he has to operate on some kind of notion for how the world works. So I watch his speeches, and see how he reacts to events over Twitter and let me tell you…I’m no closer to figuring it out then I was 2 years ago. Take for instance his reactions to what should for him be bad news. You see, on days where not much happens in the news, Trump will go on these long rants about how unfair the investigation is, how it’s a witch hunt. How everyone but him is a liar, and how he’s absolutely innocent of everything. Then, on days like last Friday, where these big leaps in the investigation get revealed, instead of again playing the defensive, he’ll insist that Mueller has somehow vindicated him. Let me assure everyone, Mueller’s investigation has lead to the Department of Justice to say, on the record, that it presumes Donald Trump engaged in criminal behavior. That’s official. And that’s about a million miles away from “vindication”. I would almost call it gaslighting if it wasn’t so backwards and obvious. Even if you like Trump, and think everyone but Trump is a liar, you would have to find it impossible to suggest he was absolved of ANYTHING. I dunno. If it turns out that Trump is just trying to actually drive us all crazy, then maybe he’s more clever than I give him credit for.
Remember when Trump railed on people for invoking the 5th Amendment right against self incrimination when it had to do with Hillary Clinton? It was a maneuver that only criminals and mob members did? Why invoke it if you have nothing to hide? Right Donald? So of course he sticks to his guns when that pendulum of self preservation swings back his way!
Of course not!
When Roger Stone plead the 5th in regards to the investigation into Trump’s potential collusion with a hostile foreign power, you can bet your but that not only was he in favor of the 5th Amendment, but he went on Twitter to declare the man a national hero!
You know, there are people who actually believe Donald Trump when he calls himself a genius, and I have to point to his Twitter account and ask “Seriously?’ Even if you believe he penned “the Art of the Deal” (he didn’t) and is a master dealmaker (he isn’t), any and all of that is negated by verbal equivalent of garbage he spews on Twitter. I’m not talking about the offensive stuff, either. I’m talking about the outright dumb things he says and admits to. Like, he’ll claim he didn’t collude with Russia during the election, but then suggest that even if he did, it wouldn’t be a crime. And while you might argue that such a statement isn’t a direct admission of guilt, I’ll give that to you, if only because he doesn’t just use Twitter to admit crimes, but seemingly also to commit them. As it turns out, publicly praising someone for not ratting on you looks an awful lot like, and can be pretty easily interpreted as witness tampering. Similarly, publicly calling for an end to an investigation, directed at people under your employ, into your potential crimes could easily be read as trying to obstruct a criminal case. Let me assure you, this isn’t brilliant posturing. If anything it’s admissible evidence on the public record.
The last week has felt like we’re finally starting to see what momentum in this long, contentious Russian Investigation really looks like. Within 2 days, 4 Trump cronies (Roger Stone, Jerome Corsi, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen) have been called out by Mueller for lying to investigators and/or Congress. Of those 4 cronies, 3 of them have joint defense agreements with Trump, meaning their lawyers are being given slight latitude in communicating with each other. Now, in the days following Trump’s submission of written answers to Mueller’s questions regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election (though apparently questions regarding obstruction of justice were not allowed), Mueller seems have his ducks in a row, and is finally starting to make moves. And now we see if Mueller is really playing chess against a bunch of checkers players.
So, Donald Trump submitted written answers to questions in Robert Mueller’s investigation, and, as is predictable at this point, Trump is pretending that this action will, and indeed already has vindicated him, and further proves that the investigation is a witch hunt. I mean, it’s not. The revelations and indictments it has already turned up proves that. But I have to admit, with Trump’s written answers, the whole situation is even more annoying, because the questions that were submitted to Trump were so watered down by this point, that it’s questionable whether they will yield any kind of desirable insight into the events we’re hoping to get cleared up. But who knows? Trump does have a habit of putting his foot in his mouth, regardless of how softball the questions. At the same time, I’m curious to see how written responses actually WRITTEN by Donald Trump turn out. I’m dying to see the man answer some questions that he can’t dance around. What do those responses look like? Here’s me keeping my fingers crossed that the document in question eventually goes public.
There was a lot of speculation, even before the Midterms, about the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Russia Investigation. Rumors were abound that one way or the other, with or without a “blue wave” at the ballots, Trump would likely feel the pressure to deal with Mueller’s investigation, and likely with Sessions, as it was no secret that Trump for all intents and purposes saw the guy as a traitor. I mean, how dare he do the only responsible thing and recuse himself from an investigation in which he had a conflict of interest?! To be fair, that moment of responsibility was quite a surprise to most people. But with the House now making it clear that their priorities are to take Trump to task for his malfeasance, Trump moved quickly to start trying to put what ducks in a row he could afford. People were awfully surprised that it only took him a day to can Sessions. Frankly, I’m surprised he waited til the next morning. That’s a level of restraint I didn’t know Trump was capable of.
How much of his day on average do you think Robert Mueller thinks about Donald Trump?
Day in and day out, Donald Trump is constantly blasting his Id all over Twitter. His angry, early morning Tweetstorms have become something of a tradition at this point. They’re like ugly, less thought out, inflammatory fireside chats. And he constantly has something to say about the probe into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 election. In fact, I’ll bet if I mention Russia or Mueller to a random person, the first word that comes to mind is “witchhunt”.
It’s Donald Trump’s omni-present narrative that got me thinking about the fact that Robert Mueller has NO narrative. Everything we know about his side of the case is entirely based around what kind of scoop news organizations get, and the veracity of ANY of those stories is questionable. Honestly, we have no concrete understanding of what Mueller’s side of the investigation looks like. We have no idea what or who he’s zeroing in on until he makes a move, but he never broadcasts it. And Trump himself is constantly maneuvering around what he think’s Mueller’s machinations are, ALSO based on what the media is saying. Remember, Trump also has NO IDEA what Mueller is actually doing.
He keeps calling this investigation a “witch hunt” without at all knowing if he’s even a credible target at this point! Only the tiny investigation team and Mueller himself know what’s actually on the table, and they aren’t giving an official narrative, because of course they aren’t! Law enforcement and prosecution teams don’t discuss ongoing cases. Which leads me to back to the question I had at the beginning. How much do you think Mueller thinks SPECIFICALLY about Trump? While we know for a fact that Trump CAN’T STOP thinking about Mueller and his investigation, I imagine Mueller isn’t plagued by a similar problem. Because Mueller’s agenda isn’t to nail the President. It’s to uncover the scope of a hostile foreign power’s penetration into our election. I would imagine Mueller’s head is much less chaotic.
Donald Trump, Jr. might be looking at a bit of trouble for his participation in a meeting in Trump Tower during the 2016 election. For those not in the know, Don Jr, potentially (probably) with the knowledge of his father, took a meeting with a Russian lawyer in the hopes of getting dirt on Hillary in the election. The more information that becomes public, especially as it relates to a statement by Jr, probably drafted by Sr, the less good it looks for Jr. And I guess Papa Trump might be getting worried as well. Whether that is genuine concern over the welfare of his son or concern for himself over the blowback is up to whoever is telling the story. But whichever the case, it’s certainly causing Trump and his legal team time and energy. And the flip flopping over Don Sr.’s level of knowledge of the incident before it happened is only causing more waves. All I can imagine is that Trump would rather Jr. be out of reach for the time being.