According to Russian Officials. Trump Campaign Did Have Contact During Campaign
Let’s say this. If Trump is innocent here he does a bad job of defending himself. Every time he’s caught in another lie his credibility just gets worse.
It’s possible that Trump just looks really guilty but isn’t.
What are the odds he just looks very guilty but isn’t? I guess it comes down to how much you believe in coincidences, lots and lots of coincidences.
But is strategy of lying about everything means no one can believe anything he says.
Like Seth Abramson argues, Trump acts like a guilty person. Abramson has experience as a defense attorney and has seen the type many times.
Time and again, Trump and his WH have to walk back lie after lie. If you’re wrongly accused of a crime-coordinating with Russia during the election-your best policy would be to be very honest.
After all, all this lying establishes a pattern that makes your denials less credible.
So first Michael Flynn didn’t talk about the sanctions then Flynn did it without Trump’s knowledge but then we heard that it was fine by Trump that Flynn did it and if Flynn hadn’t done it Trump would have told him-to do it.
Trump has a way of making these very categorical and blanket denials that can very easily come back and bite him if he’s being less than fully candid-as he usually is.
Trump’s tendency is to start with a blanket sort of ‘I don’t know X.’
“For months, President Trump and his aides have insisted that they had no contact with Russian officials during the presidential campaign, a denial Mr. Trump repeated last week.”
“I have nothing to do with Russia,” he told reporters on Thursday. “To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.”
To say he has nothing to do with Russia is a very strong, categorical statement. It gives us a very large amount of territory to prove he’s lying. What does it mean to have ‘nothing to do with Russia?’
Have you never been to Russia? No he has been. Does he have business in Russia? That we don’t know, we need to see his tax returns. But his history of lying means he gets no benefit of the doubt. We are not going to assume he has no business with Russia just because he says he doesn’t.
We know that a number of people who worked for him have had Russian ties-Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Roger Stone, etc.
Roger Stone by his own admission spoke to Julian Assange through an intermediary. I think it’s very arguable that this itself can be understood as collaboration. Stone also at one point told CSPAN he spoke through this intermediary-a ‘media friend’-with Assange about the 30,000 deleted Clinton emails.
Note that he said it was about the 30,000 emails not about Podesta. Yet Stone also discussed Podesta in this same period.
Did Stone ask Assange to hack HRC’s server? I don’t see how this doesn’t qualify as collaboration. This is another wrinkle in Stone’ story. He claimed later he was just told the emails were coming, not their content. But here he talked not about the Podesta emails but the email server.
If Assange did talk about hacking her emails this would also be big trouble for him. As a young man in the 1990s he was given a lenient sentence on his own youthful hacking. He has claimed not to have been in the hacking business since. Supposedly he’s just a middleman. People mail him stuff and he releases it. He doesn’t know who they are. This was decidedly not the pattern with Roger Stone.
UPDATE: Assange does it again.
US 'liberals' today celebrate the censorship of right-wing UK provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos over teen sex quote.https://t.co/bz6dH0jyhk
— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) February 21, 2017
And Russia is contradicting Trump on having nothing to do with Russia. Actually they had stated a day after the election they’d been in communication.
“The denial stands at odds with statements by Russian officials, who have at least twice acknowledged contacts with aides to Mr. Trump before the election.”
“It is not uncommon for a presidential campaign to speak to foreign officials, which makes the dispute particularly unusual. At the same time, any contacts would have taken place during a period when American intelligence agencies believe the Russian government was trying to disrupt the election with a campaign of computer hacking.”
“The dispute began two days after the Nov. 8 election, when Sergei A. Ryabkov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, said his government had maintained contacts with members of Mr. Trump’s “immediate entourage” during the campaign.”
“I cannot say that all, but a number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives,” Mr. Ryabkov said during an interview with the Interfax news agency.
“Mr. Ryabkov’s comments were met with a swift denial from Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump and now a member of the White House press team.”
“More recently, Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey I. Kislyak, told The Washington Post that he had communicated frequently during the campaign with Michael T. Flynn, a close campaign adviser to Mr. Trump who became the president’s national security adviser before resigning from the position last week.”
“It’s something all diplomats do,” The Post quoted Mr. Kislyak as saying, though he refused to say what subjects they discussed.
“Mr. Trump and his aides denied any contacts occurred during the campaign.”
“This is a nonstory because to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place, so it’s hard to make a comment on something that never happened,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said on Monday.”
So somebody’s lying and my guess is it’s Trump. It almost always is.
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