Thursday, February 08, 2018
President Trump and Devin Nunes have been muddying the waters of the Russia investigation, so let's try to clarify those waters. Here are a dozen things we know. 1. Russia interfered in the U.S. election. 2. Trump has longstanding business interests in Russia. 3. Trump has consistently displayed a soft spot for Putin. 4. Trump picked people with ties to Russia. 5. Russia confided in the Trump campaign. 6. Trump aides secretly met with Russians. 7. A Trump ally secretly communicated with a Russian mouthpiece. 8. ... more secret contacts. WikiLeaks, presumably representing Russian interests, engaged in secret correspondence with Donald Trump Jr. 9. Kushner met a Putin ally. 10. Trump aides falsely denied contacts. 11. Russia is still at it. Russian bots are joining Trump supporters in tweeting hashtags like #MAGA and #FullOfSchiff. These same Russian bots are promoting Fox News links that disparage the Russia investigation. 12. This is not normal!
Actually, I doubt that there was anything so straightforward as a secret quid pro quo. Indeed, some of these links are so blatant that they seem confusingly exculpatory: Why would anybody conspiring with Putin raise suspicions by publicly praising him?
Yet the Russian interference itself is beyond doubt. The Mueller investigation has led to two guilty pleas and two indictments so far, and it must continue. Frankly, it's suspicious that Trump is throwing up so much dust and trying so hard to delegitimize the investigation.
He is not acting innocent.
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