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Mueller Breaches The Manafortress

Republican supporters of the president had better understand how much trouble Donald Trump might be in — this, because of the news from Robert Mueller’s office today. First, there is the Paul Manafort indictment, as reported by the NYT: [1]

Paul Manafort and his former business associate were indicted on Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over President Trump’s first year in office.

Mr. Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, and his longtime associate Rick Gates, surrendered to the FBI on Monday. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said Mr. Manafort laundered more than $18 million to buy properties and services.

“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income,” the indictment reads.

change_me

Mr. Gates is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. The two are also charged with making false statements.

More from the Washington Post: [2]

In fact, prosecutors allege, Manafort was communicating directly with then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych about the effort, promising in 2012 to provide him weekly updates about the effort.

To further obscure Ukrainian involvement in the lobbying effort, prosecutors say payments to the Washington firms were routed through obscure offshore companies. Prosecutors say that when the Department of Justice approached Manafort and Gates in 2016 and 2017 about whether they should have registered as foreign agents for the work, they responded with false and misleading letters, indicating they had not directed the lobbying effort and asserting they did not hold records reflecting their work, even though later searches showed they did, according to the indictment.

Note well that the indictment does not touch Donald Trump. But charges alleging that Trump’s former campaign manager is a money launderer who got very rich from work done for a Russian stooge — work that he knew was illegal, and tried to conceal — well, that’s very serious stuff. It is entirely possible that the President knew none of this when he hired Manafort, and we shouldn’t assume that he did. However, Mueller now has Manafort in a position to deal. If a court finds him guilty, Manafort, 68, may well spend the rest of his life in federal prison. If — if — Manafort has anything compromising on Trump regarding his relationship to the Russians, Mueller’s going to try to squeeze it out of him.

And then there’s the George Papadopolous guilty plea, in which the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser admitted lying to the FBI about the timing and nature of his Russian contacts. Here is the official text of what Papadopolous admitted he did.  [3]

Read the document. Papadopolous admits that he met with an unofficial representative of the Russian government as a Trump adviser, and that he repeatedly tried to arrange meetings with Putin’s office and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He told an unnamed high Trump campaign official that the Russians said they had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. The meetings he tried to arrange never took place, according to the document, but what this guilty plea establishes is attempts from within the Trump campaign to meet with the Russians to gain compromising material on Hillary Clinton.

Note well that Papadopolous did not plead guilty to wrongdoing by pursuing those contacts. He pled guilty to lying about them to the FBI. It is interesting to note that this guilty plea was entered on October 5 — and it did not leak. What else does Mueller know that has not leaked? Do any Congressional Republicans really want to go out on a limb to defend a president whose campaign adviser met repeatedly with Russians for the sake of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton, then lying to the FBI about it? Do they really want to go out on a limb for a president whose former campaign chief was charged today with money laundering in connection with services rendered to a Ukrainian politician in Putin’s pocket?

None of what we know so far touches Trump directly. But the circling sharks tightened the perimeter today.

UPDATE: Holy cow! Allahpundit makes a case that Papadopolous might have been wearing an FBI wire.  [4] The FBI document identifies Papadopolous as a “proactive cooperator” with the investigation. That has in the past meant “one who agrees to wear a wire.” Excerpt:

Imagine Papadopoulos phoning a former top Team Trump official in early August to say, “They’ve arrested me! I don’t know what to do! I think I should tell them everything and make a deal!” He might have been told no, no, no, stay calm, deny X, Y, and Z, we’ll make sure Mueller never finds our emails from the campaign. And meanwhile, unbeknownst to the target, Mueller’s recording the entire conversation on Papadopoulos’s end.

That would also explain that curious WaPo story on August 14 citing various messages sent between Papadopoulos and campaign officials about Russia, all of which seemed to exculpate Team Trump and make it look like Papadopoulos himself was the only one eager to get Trump together with the Kremlin. In hindsight it sure looks like word of Papadopoulos’s arrest in late July had gotten out somehow and someone from the campaign was doing preemptive damage control by leaking to WaPo. But how did campaign staff find out that Papadopoulos had been arrested? One logical possibility: He told them himself in the course of asking for “advice” from them on how to obstruct the investigation, which some of them may have provided. Suddenly those people woke up this morning and realized they’d had conversations with Papadopoulos recently about how to throw Mueller off the trail and only now do they realize he’s been in cahoots with Mueller for three months. Hoo boy.

You want to read it all. [4]

133 Comments (Open | Close)

133 Comments To "Mueller Breaches The Manafortress"

#1 Comment By James Hartwick On October 30, 2017 @ 9:10 pm

This is a great day for news. First Manafort indicted. (I’m a Trump voter, by the way, but not a Trump supporter.) Manafort committed crimes, he should be indicted. And then the Kevin Spacey story, maybe we can finally start to have an honest discussion. I need to get work done, but I spent more time reading TAC this evening than I have in a long time. Frabjous day!

#2 Comment By Mel Profit On October 30, 2017 @ 9:34 pm

Dear Rod:

Mueller’s job is to investigate collusion with Russia impacting on the 2016 election. It is not to pursue tax fraud stemming from Ukrainian business deals prior to that election, or the campaigning for it. Special Counsels, you see, investigate special things (usually fictitious, but there lies most of the great fun). There are thousands of prosectors and FBI to do what Mr Mueller has done.

In fact, I do think this is the end of Mueller’s investigation, at least relative to its actual purpose. All subsequent indictments–and there will be more, since that is what prosecutors do, no matter how far they have to drift to find them–any and all will be largely noise to divert attention from the fact that the investigation has been a long, noisy, unnecessary and expensive bust.

Meanwhile, as Washington ties itself in knots for an entire year, accomplishing exactly nothing, Mr Putin laughs and Mr Xi grows stronger. Asleep at the switch, I call it. And entirely bipartisan, which should please the good government types.

But don’t let me keep you from your worry beads, or whatever it is that the Orthodox fondle in times of stress. Lord knows you love your doom.

MP

#3 Comment By No Comment On October 30, 2017 @ 9:56 pm

Mueller is there to make something up not to find the truth. He should be understood as a front-man for a sociopathic US elite that wants a de facto coup because they are still sore about losing to flyover country.

#4 Comment By Ellimist000 On October 30, 2017 @ 10:16 pm

“Re: You might find this hard to believe, but I hope Mueller doesn’t find enough to warrant indictment of a sitting president, or even to impeach him. That would tear the country apart.

Might it not prove salutary in the long term though? The Imperial Presidency has gotten too big for its britches once again and maybe it needs to cut back down to size.”

Not to mention the fact that a democratic republic’s long-term and short-term future is in peril with 20-40% of the country flagrantly and unambiguously choosing tribalism over country and rule of law, no matter what party it is. We might as well take our medicine rather than die from the disease.

“Let the sword fall on them all.”

#5 Comment By Ellimist000 On October 30, 2017 @ 10:23 pm

“If you don’t want to hear about Hillary Clinton, don’t participate in discussions where she is relevant either directly due to her actions, or is part of the context.”

Well, that’s the problem VikingLS, even if the vast right-wing conspiracy theories are true, she’s NOT relevant to this conversation. Even the most outlandish things being said about Clinton or Muller’s involvement on the silly Uranium thing have no bearing on Trump’s alleged collusion to use documents STOLEN from American citizens and other efforts to subvert processes defined in the freaking CONSTITUTION. It’s just utter nonsense.

#6 Comment By MM On October 30, 2017 @ 10:26 pm

Rusty: Thanks, I’ll take your avoidance of the facts as validation of my arguments.

In reviewing your comments, and I don’t see anything. Not even an opinion, unqualified as I’m sure it would be. Though it might not meet your clearly rigorous stanard of acceptability, at least I have something to stand by.

Always a pleasure!

#7 Comment By Lllurker On October 31, 2017 @ 12:03 am

JCM: “Having worked under Bob Mueller . . .”

Maybe you can help me with something I’ve been curious about. I keep hearing things like “Muellers bringing in witness x” or “Mueller is handling this witness in such and such manner.” What I’ve been wondering is if it’s likely that he actually does personally meet with some of these people?

Would a guy like him get that close to some of this, or would 100% of the interactions with the various players be delegated while Mueller stays behind the scenes managing the process, hiring staff and the like?

#8 Comment By Lllurker On October 31, 2017 @ 12:44 am

For all of you who are regurgitating the right-wing media nonsense about Clinton I’d urge you to take a step back. You’re being played. Three people connected with Trump’s campaign were just indicted (and we’re only 6 months into the investigation by the way) yet in the last week these right-wing media wizards have now become obsessed and outraged — just absolutely outraged — about Clinton?

Take a peek behind the Wizard’s curtain and look at what’s really happening here. Any and every single bloviator, talking head and website that is focused on Clinton at a time like this is screaming to all the world that they most definitely are *not* in the news business.

Quit being played. And quit patronizing this disgusting right-wing pretend news industry. We need real journalism on the right instead of this pile of manure that we now have, but that’s never gonna happen if conservatives don’t start rejecting all this pretend crap.

Again, any organization that is in any way preoccupied with Clinton at a time when indictments are dropping for the sitting president’s own campaign team is waving a giant flag that says: “We Are Not A Real News Organization.”

#9 Comment By cka2nd On October 31, 2017 @ 4:47 am

Kudos to the TAC editor who came up with the great headline for this piece, “Muller Breaches The Manafortress.” Very clever.

[NFR: Thanks. It was me. I write all my own headlines. — RD]

#10 Comment By Elijah On October 31, 2017 @ 7:39 am

“People like Elijah seem to think that we liberals actually care what happens to Podesta. He isn’t a sacred cow, neither is Clinton.”

First off, I think anyone with a functioning cerebrum ought to care about Podesta’s possible indictment: he’s an important figure in DC lobbying, named one of DC’s “50 Heavy Lifters”, with close ties to the Clintons.

Second, I agree with David French that this probe into Russia was bound to go beyond its mandate and get in to all kinds of business of current and former officials. Right or wrong, Trump was NEVER going to be the sole focus of Mueller’s investigation.

Finally, if Trump & Co. committed crimes, I think they should pay the price.

You claim on the one hand not to care about Clinton, Podesta, et.al., that they’re not sacred cows, and then in the next breath claim everything to do with them is a mere distraction.

Forgive me if I continue to suspect many people like you yearn for justice – as long as it’s the other party getting it in the neck.

#11 Comment By VikingLS On October 31, 2017 @ 7:44 am

@Ellimist000

No, sorry, Clinton is relevant to the conversation and you’re perfectly well aware of that fact. If we are talking about things which occurred during the 2016 election it’s not just about Republicans.

If we are talking about how supposedly this is going to hurt the chances of Republicans running fro election/reelection in the fall then “Trump may have colluded with the Russians!” has a lot less impact if the DNC had a hand in the Steele Dossier, and as such were also colluding with the Russians.

So yes she IS relevant and will remain so.

#12 Comment By Brendan Sexton On October 31, 2017 @ 7:58 am

Dale wrote: “When will the Hillary/Podesta/Comey/Mueller/Lynch/Obama/DNC “fortress be broken through and all of them arrested?
Well, it looks more and more like Podesta may be nervous about something or other, but there is no prosecutor in the country interested in any other of the names you list. Why do you think that is? Surely any DA or USDA who brought any one of those parties in in cuffs would have their career made–first on the job, and later on the lecture circuit. Why do you think this doesn’t happen? they are afraid of Hillary? Have you ever met a prosecutor?
They are not afraid to go after these ‘powerful’ Clinton types–they’re pursuing a sitting Chief Executive, after all; no, not afraid, not reluctant, they just can’t get a case out of all those Benghazi and email stories. Hillary’s conduct and character may be unsavory, but no one –even prosecutors who would salivate at the thought of her in the dock–seems close to making a criminal case out of this distaste.
I can barely believe you threw Obama into your list of potential criminal suspects. I could speculate on why he (and Lynch) seem like criminals to you, but this speculation would not be kind to you, and since I don’t really know you or your problems or non-problems on race, that would be unfair. I’ll just suggest that maybe you distinguish poorly between what is in your mind ‘wrong’ on the one hand, and on the other hand, what the law considers a crime. This accuses you of terrible, self-serving ignorance, but that is less insulting to you than the obvious alternative explanation.

#13 Comment By Oldboy On October 31, 2017 @ 8:48 am

Elijah,

No, once again you are deflecting and misunderstanding.

Mueller’s mandate was given wide latitude by Assistant Secretary of Justice Rosenstein to find crimes that were connected to the Russian investigation. You can’t ignore $75 million in laundered money that is right in front of you, and then say it is political unless you are a hack like French. [5]

So French quite literally doesn’t know what he is talking about.

You can suspect all you want about my intentions, but I actually mean it and don’t base my opinions on baseless conspiracy.

The facts of the matter are: Trump’s campaign chair, the man that ran his convention, is being arrested for vast ties to criminal activity. Rick Gates, who was in his campaign through the election, was also arrested. And then there is the guilty plea regarding actual collusion with the Russian government and Carter Page admitted last night that he spoke with Papadopoulos, about colluding while part of the campaign. [6]

So I am going to throw your words back at you “Forgive me if I continue to suspect many people like you yearn for justice – as long as it’s the other party getting it in the neck.”

#14 Comment By VikingLS On October 31, 2017 @ 9:19 am

@Lllurker

I think we can manage without you telling us what we are allowed to think and talk about, thank you.

#15 Comment By Polichinello On October 31, 2017 @ 9:50 am

I guess maybe if one’s target is the local kindergarten teacher one could proceed as you state, but the game must be played tougher when the target of the investigation wields a little more power than said kindergarten teacher.

You are aware that the one who Mueller is pursuing currently does wield a fair amount more power than a teacher?

Because some 30-year-old dilettante is a big power player? Please. This is Mueller using the threat of endless court dates and lawyers’ fees to intimidate some goof who couldn’t keep his dates straight. And he and his attorneys are doing it in the hopes of finding some undotted “i” or an uncrossed “t” and gaining a trophy.

The idea of changing the rules is also loathsome. You do not change the rules based on the person, you certainly do not leave the discretion to decide how to change those rules in the hands of one civil servant, who can decide to abuse your hypothetical kindergarten teacher if he thinks it will win him a career-boosting headline.

Bear in mind that Mueller has a practically unlimited amount of resources, so really, there’s not a lot power any of us have in comparison to that.

If he found evidence of Manafort concealing income from the IRS years ago, fine, turn it over to the IRS. That’s their job, not his.

#16 Comment By Polichinello On October 31, 2017 @ 9:53 am

Not to mention the fact that a democratic republic’s long-term and short-term future is in peril with 20-40% of the country flagrantly and unambiguously choosing tribalism over country and rule of law…

We’ll deal with the blacks and Hispanics later–Oh, you mean Trump voters. Yeah, right.

#17 Comment By A DC Wonk On October 31, 2017 @ 10:14 am

What’s left so far is Papadopolous, whose only crime so far is giving false information to investigators…”

So far. Yes. Further, note that this was a plea deal, in which cases usually the defendant was at risk for something significantly worse, which is why he pled. But, no matter, this is just the beginning.

Mueller’s job is to investigate collusion with Russia impacting on the 2016 election. It is not to pursue tax fraud stemming from…

Not correct. His authorization specifically includes all crimes that he finds along the way, so to speak. Like most crimes, he “followed the money” and found a lot of other stuff. But this is clearly under his authority, too.

Mueller is there to make something up not to find the truth. He should be understood as a front-man for a sociopathic US elite

This is the worst comment of all. Mueller is an upstanding by-the-books no-nonsense law-abiding guy. He’s a Republican, appointed by a Republican (multiple times, fwiw). The problem with the Trumpites is that Mueller is taking his job seriously and following leads where they go.

Just because you don’t like the messenger doesn’t mean you should smear him.

And (responding to some other comment): for those who think this is all Mueller has, I am amazed at the bubble you live in. I’d happily bet you any amount on that one. (For crying out loud, everybody knows that Flynn lied multiple times, too. Do Trumpites really think Flynn is not going to get indicted? And that’s just for starters). You guys need to get out more. Or turn to a news source other than Fox/Hannity/Breitbart

#18 Comment By Jonathan Scinto On October 31, 2017 @ 10:26 am

“No, sorry, Clinton is relevant to the conversation and you’re perfectly well aware of that fact. If we are talking about things which occurred during the 2016 election it’s not just about Republicans.

If we are talking about how supposedly this is going to hurt the chances of Republicans running fro election/reelection in the fall then “Trump may have colluded with the Russians!” has a lot less impact if the DNC had a hand in the Steele Dossier, and as such were also colluding with the Russians.

So yes she IS relevant and will remain so.

No, no she isn’t.

There’s a difference between funding oppo research and acting scummy about it, and conspiring with a foreign power to gain an advantage against your opponent in an election.

The former involves paying a private investigator to conduct research. The latter involves working with a hostile foreign government to influence the outcome of a US election, and potentially aiding and abetting a crime (the hack and theft of Clinton campaign and DNC emails) in the process.

#19 Comment By JCM On October 31, 2017 @ 10:36 am

Llurker:

I assume he would run this investigation the same way that he (and all others before and after him in that position) ran DOJ’s Criminal Division as its Assistant Attorney General. He held that job during part of 41’s sole term. He was also the US Attorney in MA prior to the Main DOJ posting.

In other words, just as in those supervisory jobs, you will rarely see him in court but he will direct and manage the government’s investigative strategy and court appearances.

One would, however, expect him to be present at key moments; for example, if the President, the Vice President or someone at the higher echelons of the Administration were to be interviewed or brought before a grand jury.

Probably, almost certainly, he would participate in interviewing behind the scenes John Dean-like figure whose personal credibility was essential to the investigation.

It is likely that an investigation involves loads of classified information that the special counsel would like use as evidence, but the intelligence agencies would want to preserve from disclosure. fearing the revelation of their “sources and methods”.

Mr. Mueller is the ideal person to go head-to-head with the intelligence agency heads on such matters. As a former Director of the FBI, who served 13 years in that position, he would have a lot of credibility in arguing in favor for the use or declassification of relevant evidence. Having worked in such matters, This may well involve finding the “sweet spot” where both the law enforcement and intelligence equities are weighted and preserved, all the while preserving the defendants’ rights to confront the government’s case.

I would also add that Mr. Mueller will not tolerate leaks of any kind, and I don’t think that anyone given the honor to work with him would ever dare.

No one should work for Mr. Mueller who is not committed to the job in a monk (or nun) like fashion. He is tough to work for but I would vote for him for President without even knowing his position on any given issue. He is a General George C. Marshall for our time.

#20 Comment By VikingLS On October 31, 2017 @ 10:51 am

@Jonathan Scinto

“There’s a difference between funding oppo research and acting scummy about it, and conspiring with a foreign power to gain an advantage against your opponent in an election.”

When you know the oppo researcher is conspiring with a foreign power? If they read any of the research they knew he was talking to the FSB.

You know there’s not much difference and you know after a year of Democrats calling Trump voters Russian stooges we have every right to be interested in this.

#21 Comment By VikingLS On October 31, 2017 @ 10:56 am

@Jonathan Scinto

FWIW I’d like the Republicans involved in the Steele Dossier held to account as well.

#22 Comment By MM On October 31, 2017 @ 12:35 pm

@Jonathan Scinto

I posed this question earlier:

Regarding charges of violating 22 U.S. Code 612 and 618, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, is it too soon to wonder when similar indictments will come down on the Clinton Campaign, the DNC, and the Podesta Group, for similar violations?

Any objections?

#23 Comment By JonF On October 31, 2017 @ 1:22 pm

Re: Mueller’s job is to investigate collusion with Russia impacting on the 2016 election. It is not to pursue tax fraud stemming from Ukrainian business deals prior to that election, or the campaigning for it

And Ken Starr was supposed to be investigating possible skullduggery in the Whitewater real estate deal, not looking into Bill Clinton’s sex life, or testimony pertaining thereto.

#24 Comment By redfish On October 31, 2017 @ 1:40 pm

Heh…

However relevant Clinton is to the conversation, it is an open conversation, and as long as people are saying fair things, it seems strange to police the discussion and think everyone who mentions her needs to be “corralled back into the fence,” so to speak, into talking about Trump…. Especially when there’s not much to say about Trump yet, because the investigation hasn’t touched him yet.

#25 Comment By Brendan Sexton On October 31, 2017 @ 3:34 pm

@VikingLS Yes, this is the point–everybody should be abiding by the laws. But it is important to remember that a lot of the charges being thrown around are simply not criminal. We all have our likes and hates, our suspicions and beliefs, but it is the job of Mueller and others like the FBI, the NY Atty. General and so on, to make this distinction.
Ever since the campaign there have been so many accusations of ‘crooked’ this and ‘criminal’ that, it will be very useful to see what a disciplined pro makes of it all. Mueller is that. And his mandate IS, yes, to follow wherever the facts lead.
It’s also true that Federal impeachments rarely have focused on criminal charges, nor is that required. So, if we get to that stage, it will be up to Congress to conduct its inquiry with similar discipline and professionalism.

#26 Comment By Brendan Sexton On October 31, 2017 @ 3:38 pm

Jen F–you said “Re: Mueller’s job is to investigate collusion with Russia impacting on the 2016 election. It is not to pursue tax fraud stemming from Ukrainian business deals prior to that election, or the campaigning for it”
People keep saying this over and over, but it is simply not so. His job (his mandate when appointed and approved) is to follow up on any possible leads as they show up in his investigation. There really are NO limits–to russia or anything–as people keep trying to insert. it’s wishful thinking by Trump supporters, but it actually has no foundation in fact or law at all.

#27 Comment By cka2nd On October 31, 2017 @ 4:18 pm

“[NFR: Thanks. It was me. I write all my own headlines. — RD]”

Darn it Rod, I wish you hadn’t told me that. I’m forever defending authors when people write in claiming that some headline is terrible, dishonest, misleading, etc., on the basis that it has always been my understanding that headlines are generally the responsibility of editors. Now I won’t be able to rise to your defense if you ever get one wrong.

What exactly is a manafort, or ManaFort as I saw it in my search engine, anyway? I didn’t follow any of the links so I can’t tell if it’s a philosophical or theological term or something from video games.

#28 Comment By cka2nd On October 31, 2017 @ 4:47 pm

Polichinello says:
October 31, 2017 at 9:53 am

“‘Not to mention the fact that a democratic republic’s long-term and short-term future is in peril with 20-40% of the country flagrantly and unambiguously choosing tribalism over country and rule of law…’

“We’ll deal with the blacks and Hispanics later–Oh, you mean Trump voters. Yeah, right.”

So, when George W. Bush got 40% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, they were being tribal? And, as awful as the Democratic Party has been for blacks (no argument from me there), what exactly have Republicans offered them from a policy perspective that has been able to attract black voters since the pro-civil rights Republicans were all defeated by New Right insurgents? My God, the GOP has only recently been able to eek its way back to the old floor of 10% of black voters that they used to be able to count on in the 70’s and 80’s.

Jack Kemp, bless his soul, could at least offer a sincere opposition to racism along with his wrong-headed and destructive laissez faire economic policies. But in an age that has seen the Voting Rights Act gutted by a Supreme Court majority on a party-line vote less than 10 years after it was renewed overwhelmingly by a Republican-led Congress and Republican president, with thousands and thousands of pages of documentation of ongoing discrimination published to justify its renewal, how can you seriously expect more than a tiny minority of black people to support the Republican Party? Especially when said party’s operatives are doing everything in their power to purge black people from the voting rolls and prevent them from registering to vote by surgically targeting forms of ID that can and cannot be used to prove one’s identity based on who is statistically more or less likely to possess such an ID, black people or white people?

I don’t mind when folks unite with others of their “tribe” to confront their oppressors, and white working class people have certainly been oppressed and exploited by the ruling class and its minions in this country. But that oppression and exploitation has been because they are workers infinitely, INFINITELY, more than any discrimination they have faced as white people.

#29 Comment By Lllurker On October 31, 2017 @ 6:27 pm

JCM thanks for the thorough response to my question.

#30 Comment By Lllurker On November 1, 2017 @ 7:33 am

” I am sure all of this is just coincidental, that all of these Russian oligarchs and Mafia connected individuals just happened to be a part of Trump’s inner circle.”

Yeah my thinking all along has been that Putin graciously “offered” Trump the services of his own personal headhunter, just, you know, to help make all that hiring a go little easier. The neon sign sized tell in all of this is that Trump continued down this path even after the subject of Russian connections became radioactive. No one in their right mind would continue down that road without being coerced.

The normal reaction would be to quietly make it known that no one else with any possible connection to Russia is be hired, and also that existing personnel with Russian connections are to quietly get “headhunter away” and accept jobs out of the administration.

#31 Comment By collin On November 1, 2017 @ 10:10 am

No, sorry, Clinton is relevant to the conversation and you’re perfectly well aware of that fact. If we are talking about things which occurred during the 2016 election it’s not just about Republicans.

True, the conservative continues to have a field day against HRC but long term only weakens the conservative movement. I think it makes Trump look weak that he continues ‘campaign’ against her. I seriously doubt campaigning against the Clintons in 2018 is going to help Congressional Republicans.

#32 Comment By VikingLS On November 1, 2017 @ 1:37 pm

“I seriously doubt campaigning against the Clintons in 2018 is going to help Congressional Republicans.”

It will if Democrats/Liberals insist on trying to shame anyone who voted for Trump and then crying foul when they explain what they voted against.

Collin, again, you know that there have been recent revelations regarding the Clinton campaign that are relevant to the conversation. For one thing they’re recent, and for another they undercut a tactic Democrats have been trying use, not just against Trump, but against anyone who voted for him.

#33 Comment By JonF On November 2, 2017 @ 4:57 pm

Re: True, the conservative continues to have a field day against HRC but long term only weakens the conservative movement. I think it makes Trump look weak that he continues ‘campaign’ against her.

Have we ever before had a situation where the winning party continued campaigning against a failed candidate other than when that candidate was an incumbent who had left the country in bad shape (e.g., Herbert Hoover or Jimmy Carter)? Kerry, McCain and Romney were pretty much dropped as political issues after their respective defeats. Carrying on…and on… and on against Hillary definitely sends the message that Trump has nothing to offer of his own.