Lindsay Graham Evokes Comey as Reason not to Believe Kushner-Kislyak
It’s actually some pretty interesting 11 dimensional political chess. First regarding the story of the moment. Old Lindsay is claiming skepticism if it’s true at all about Kushner asking for a back channel with Russia.
“Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday cast doubt on reports that White House adviser Jared Kushner sought to establish secretive lines of communications with Russian officials.”
“I don’t trust this story as far as I can throw it,” the Republican senator said.
The South Carolina Republican said he found it “suspicious” that Russia would allow such a dialogue to be caught by U.S. monitors.
“I think it makes no sense that the Russian ambassador would report back to Moscow on a channel that he most likely knows we’re monitoring,” he told host Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The whole story line is suspicious.
“Graham is one of the first GOP lawmakers to publicly downplay reports of Kushner’s conversation with Russian officials.”
Trump himself this morning went on a Twitter rant about ‘fake news.’
As usual, Trump tends to contradict himself when he talks about fake news. He goes after both fake news AND prosecuting leaks. Of course, it can’t be both.
In claiming this is Fake News, however, both Trump and Graham run headlong into the fact that H.R. McMaster yesterday defended the use of back channels and even doubled down many times by claiming that the Administration has back channels with many countries. If this is true, then, this Kushner-Kiylak meeting is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Notice then, what McMaster is doing here is not calling it Fake News but defending the policy of establishing back channel communication.
Homeland Secretary John Kelly took it a step further:
“Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, pressed on White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s reported attempts to establish secretive lines of communication with Russia during the presidential transition, said any such channels of communication are “a good thing.”
“While not confirming reports that Kushner discussed with Russian officials how to create secret back channels of communication that escaped potential U.S. monitoring, Kelly said that any attempts to strengthen dialogue with Russia were a positive.”
“I don’t know if it is true or not, I know it’s being reported in the press,” Kelly said on “Fox News Sunday,” before being told by anchor Chris Wallace that the network had confirmed that the discussion between Kushner and Russian officials had taken place.
“I think that any channel of communication back or otherwise, with a country like Russia is a good thing,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me.”
I guess you can say he’s trying to have it both ways and every which way.
1. It’s a good thing
2. But I’m not saying it happened
3. But I’m also not saying it didn’t.
Kushner’s lawyer also hasn’t exactly denied this happened.
So Graham is putting himself on something of a limb here. I guess the difference is these folks that work in the WH now know that if they lie they could be up for perjury or obstruction of justice in the future. Graham is just a Senate and so has the deniability of just offering up his opinion.
However, the other part of what Graham said-and Politico didn’t publish that yet, was he argued how can we trust anything after hearing Jim Comey claim that he gave that July press conference based on a fake email by Russian hackers?
So his excuse for not believing this story was ‘How can we believe anything if what Comey said was true?’
The Graham said he believed the email was real. An email Debbie Wasserman Schultz ‘implying’ that Loretta Lynch promised Hillary wouldn’t be indicted.
Graham insists he still believes it’s real-though Comey and others in the FBI say it’s not-and says he wants to have this email presented to Congress.
Again, this is all 11 dimensional chess. I strongly suspect that Graham and the GOP want to talk about this infamous document hacked by the Russians that was the justification for Comey’s indefensible and completely inappropriate press conference. Extremely careless indeed-as a pretext to discredit Comey’s approaching testimony on his memos. etc.
Ironically, they are now in the position of feigning outrage over how politicized the Hillary email probe was from top to bottom.
So we have to watch for this trojan horse of an argument meant to discredit Trump-allegedly over his handling of the email probe but in truth to protect Trump.
On the other hand, Graham is dead right. We certainly do need to see this phantom doc from the Russian hackers.
What Comey is now claiming is surely surreal.
“The Story of the Phony Lynch Email Grows Bigger.”
“We’ve just had some highly disturbing, vaguely surreal new information reported by CNN. Two days ago The Washington Post reported that James Comey’s decision not to notify the Department of Justice about his July Clinton emails press conference was driven in part by emails or documents describing emails the FBI had found in troves of Russian-hacked emails which appeared to compromise Attorney General Lynch’s independence. The gist of the Post story was that Comey may have relied on what was in fact an exquisitely successful disinformation operation to make what turned out to be a highly consequential decision affecting the 2016 election.”
“According to sources who talked to CNN, Comey and the FBI knew the document was a fraud but used it anyway, both to make the decision and justify the decision after the fact.”
Again, Graham-in contradiction to Comey and others at the FBI-insists this really was a Debbie Wasserman-Schultz email.
But even if that were so-and it’s not-it would beggar comprehension. At same time that the FBI is beginning to investigate Russian hackers targeting the Democrats, Comey and friends were relying on hacked emails from these very same Russian hackers to run the email probe?!
So we really do need answers.
Josh Marshall also makes a very good point about the potential of fake docs from the Russian hackers:
“The anti-Hillary people (both legitimate opponents and Sputniknews nutballs) always poo-poohed the idea that fraudulent documents might be woven into the legitimate, stolen documents that were laundered through Wikileaks. At least in those, I know of no cases where this happened. But the ability to do this (which is what Comey seems to have feared, if we take this account at face value) is always part of such an operation. Always.”
“The big takeaway here is that the Russian interference and subversion campaign appears to have gone much deeper and reached much higher than we’ve heretofore known. Whichever version of events you credit, Russian disinformation operations seem to have reached to the very top of the law enforcement and national security state and driven critical decisions at that level. Remember, the October 28th letter to Congress flowed directly from commitments Comey made because of that July press conference. The impact of this decision was quite simply vast.”
Just because you can’t show something’s not a fake doesn’t mean it’s not.
I’ve long since suspected that somehow Russia collusion and Comeygate were related. Now we are getting much evidence that it was.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.