The Jury Talks Back


Cohen: Trump Knew About Trump Tower Meeting in Advance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:53 am

Well, of course he did:

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.

Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017.
Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources.

Cohen is hardly Mr. Credibility, and the “sources” relied upon say he doesn’t have evidence. And to the most diehard Trump supporters, this doesn’t move the needle, because they don’t think there’s anything wrong with a presidential candidate seeking dirt on his opponent from the Kremlin. (Three years ago, the bolded passage I just wrote would have been unthinkable, but that’s our politics these days. It’s Trump’s world; we’re just living in it.)

So, just like Avenatti’s claim that Trump paid off way more women than previously suspected — or like literally any other evidence you can think of — this news seems unlikely to change minds. Which raises the question that I now pose to avid Trump supporters: what would change your minds about this guy? What, if proved with solid evidence, would make you say: Hmmm. This seems to be a bad guy who doesn’t deserve my support?

Just curious.


  1. At this point, I think Trump could run for re-election with Hillary as his VP and his supporters would spin it as brilliant.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/27/2018 @ 1:51 pm

  2. Ah! I might just stick over here, seems calmer, and my hide script is getting really long.

    And yes, he probably could sell that.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/27/2018 @ 6:27 pm

  3. I would enjoy the company, Colonel Klink. Unfortunately, I no longer enjoy the comments at the main website. They are full of heat but there is no light.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/27/2018 @ 10:08 pm

  4. All this ginned up garbage from fusion from their paid stable of reporters from the bureau, a total groupthink loop.

    Comment by Narciso — 7/28/2018 @ 7:15 am

  5. Yes, there is a lot of groupthink now.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/28/2018 @ 8:33 am

  6. I don’t get why this is even controversial, at all. Donald doesn’t let Donnie or Eric make any more decisions than Barron, so the likelihood that this was all done without even a heads up to his dad upstairs is zero.

    Plus, just seeing the messaging that Trump was doing real time, its patently obvious that he hoped something was coming.

    I guess at this point, delaying the release till after the midterms is the goal. Every single new piece of information puts paid on the last lie, so if Cohen, a man paid to lie and cover up lies for Donald, actually has verifiable information, its going to get out.

    Also, there’s no way a prosecutor would take Cohen’s word for it, so he either provides physical evidence, or some other witnesses, or it stays in a political only problem, instead of both a criminal and political problem.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/28/2018 @ 9:59 am

  7. It appears the Court’s Master has completed her review of the seized materials, and all parties know what was found and (I believe) have copies of everything. So they all know all the details. We, the public, are the ones who don’t know the details.

    Thus, for now, the game is who releases what and when do they release it. Trump likes that game but the problem for him is that Lanny Davis is also in the game. Thus far they have each released something.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/28/2018 @ 10:34 am

  8. My guess is they are playing political/media games, but they have to be careful not to antagonize the Court. Thus, there is a legal element, too.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/28/2018 @ 10:35 am

  9. With Trump and Giuliani leaking and contradicting themselves, Davis leaking to contradict them, and the prosecution being silent, we’re going to get this as sport for the foreseeable future.

    Special counsel investigations take a LONG time, and 16 months is barely a dent into the process, at least typically, but they’ve actually done quite a lot of prosecution when you look at other investigations.

    I think they, Mueller’s investigation, need to feel some pressure, there is a whole different dimension than Clinton potentially tilting some rural real estate deals, or Scooter Libby’s leaking. A foreign power trying to influence an election, is bad, if a candidate actively assisted that, its a whole different kettle of fish, so faster is better.

    At the end of the day, its going to be up to congress, because the president isn’t getting prosecuted in office, so it can really only be impeachment. I doubt that it will happen, but their going to find lots of criminal money issues, that will just be on the back burner till he’s out in 2021, where they could prosecute, but statutes of limitations, and a very old man, kind of limits that likelihood. Plus, all of that stuff was baked into candidate Trump.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/28/2018 @ 11:13 am

  10. Whew, it’s more pleasant here, for sure. Like a cool room out of the So Cal sun.
    I too am a refugee from your other site, and it’s a bit of a mess over there. While not as conservative as our host is, I did like this blog for the smartness of the commentariat.
    I do hope that Mr. Patterico will engage on this site, as one of the reasons I like this place was the interaction of the posters and and host with the commenters. I hope that happens here.
    But I can’t deal with the blocking script (I’m that dumb, I guess), and HF in particular is frustrating though pointless (calling people twats and pedos is pretty nasty though). But the rest, those who just repeat the same nonsense over and over and double and triple down, it’s pretty pathetic.
    What boggles me though is that as you said in the body of the post, nothing will change their minds.
    Not even this, just in from Fox (so intellectually approved by the overlords on the other site, even if it’ll confuse them a bit till they are told how to respond): “If he’s proven to have not told the whole truth about the fact that campaigns look for dirt, and if someone offers it, you listen to them, nobody’s going to be surprised,” Issa said. “There are some things in politics that you just take for granted.” regarding the Trump Tower meeting.
    I mean, of course he knew, but he said many times he did not know, up to and including yesterday.
    And his son lied to Congress about it. This just is not normal.
    It’s bad, and it’s wrong.
    Accepting it, and knowingly abetting it is even more wrong.
    Anyway, thanks! And – off topic – I’m a bit of a economics geek, and I have couple questions I’ll try to post on the other thread. I’d love your thoughts.

    Comment by TomM — 7/28/2018 @ 5:43 pm

  11. Nothing came of It, Tom m, unlike perhaps a similar event nearly 40 years at the DuPont hotel, as for news about Hillary recall what happened a week later the pulse night club shooter the perpetrator’s father was an fbi informant for the previous dozen years, to little success.

    Comment by Narciso — 7/28/2018 @ 6:36 pm

  12. I don’t see invective as necessary, but it appears the distaste is not uniform here,

    Comment by Narciso — 7/28/2018 @ 6:38 pm

  13. But when one points out that both page and papadop seems to have contact more related to UK intelligence than Russians, that’s considered out of scope.

    Comment by Narciso — 7/28/2018 @ 6:49 pm

  14. TomM,

    I am glad you are here. I am probably more conservative than Patterico but I feel the same way you do about the main website and I’m there are many things you and I could talk about and even agree on.

    I always enjoy reading Patterico’s posts because they are insightful, but I used to enjoy reading and interacting with the commenters just as much. Not any more. Whatever the Trump supporters say today will change tomorrow, depending on what helps Trump. It is an endless loop. So enough, I say. Let’s talk about substance like adults, the way the main website used to.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/29/2018 @ 7:22 am

  15. Trump supporters think they can bully and insult into submission conservatives who criticize Trump, just as they used BINARY CHOICE and SCOTUS nominations to win conservative votes in 2016. But I don’t think that will work in the midterms. (I know I won’t vote in the midterms when every GOP politician is trying to prove his Trump loyalty, nor in the 2020 general election if Trump is on the ticket.)

    Trump is a populist, not a conservative. He and his die-hard supporters don’t seem to understand conservative ideas so they can’t possibly understand what makes someone a conservative judge. What will happen when SCOTUS inevitably crosses Trump? Will Trump talk about the importance of separation of powers and understanding other views, even if you don’t agree? Of course not. He will insult the Court the way Obama did, only in tweets and at rallies because he insults everyone who crosses him. And his supporters will jeer the Court and cheer Trump, because all they care about is Trump.

    Disagreement is allowed in America. Undermining our institutions for political gain is what Jane Fonda, Ted Kennedy, and now Donald Trump do.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/29/2018 @ 12:49 pm

  16. I kniw this will happen because Trump’s supporters are already criticizing all of Congress and all of the DOJ/FBI/State/etc., solely because they believe they are not wholeheartedly following Trump. Some may be trying to undermine Trump but there is a legitimate way to change government — through elections. Trump is President. He is there to change our government, not to undermine it and everything we stand for.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/29/2018 @ 12:54 pm

  17. But let’s face it, the only thing Trump knows about changing government is via dictatorships, hence his constant affection for dictators. His knowledge of our system is as empty as his understanding of trade and economics.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/29/2018 @ 12:56 pm

  18. Its also quite telling that Nunberg and Bannon have also been talking about Trump knowing about the meeting, for a year now.

    Their point was why lie about it, it was a good thing. That’s a different argument than it didn’t happen, but every evolution of that argument has been proven a lie. Maybe Bannon and Nunberg have a point, it would have been easier to just pull the bandaid a year ago and put it behind them. Of course, that’s admitting a mistake, and that is not a Trump thing. He’s never made a mistake, (ahem) 4 bankruptcies, according to his own words, so why start now.

    Although, the walk back on the border separations was pretty close to it.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/29/2018 @ 5:22 pm

  19. Nothing came of the meeting, which wouldn’t have been possible without lynch issuing a visa and state authorizing to be present, manafort checked out after 10 minutes. Meanwhile unverified Russian info did make it into the dossier, into the fisa report into the national intelligence estimate cherry picked by Peter strzok remember him.

    Now Obama actually threatened the supreme court in his state of the union, and they folded on Obama care and same sex marriage, because there was no rational basis for either

    Comment by Narciso — 7/29/2018 @ 7:11 pm

  20. Oh and if it hasn’t been made clear, Brunis venomous outburst toward pence, tell you they won’t stop with trump.

    Comment by Narciso — 7/29/2018 @ 7:19 pm

  21. Maybe the point is delay, Colonel Klink. Maybe Trump wants to give the media rabbits to chase for as long as possible.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/29/2018 @ 7:36 pm

  22. So is if something came of it does that make it worse somehow.

    Its still a candidate’s campaign, at least, meeting to engage with an adversary for partisan political benefit.

    And whatabout Clinton, is not an excuse.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/29/2018 @ 7:41 pm

  23. Of course it, its the basis for the investigation, one side is never held accountable, this has been true since they found Bryan Terry dead with the weapons the atf supplied to the cartel, moving on to ambassador Stevens tortured body in Benghazi,

    Comment by narciso — 7/29/2018 @ 8:14 pm

  24. Oh FFS you’re on mute.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/29/2018 @ 8:30 pm

  25. I can’t understand Narciso’s comments and that makes it impossible for me to discuss things with him.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/29/2018 @ 8:34 pm

  26. The dems are never held accountable, fast and furious Lerner missing server, republicans and right leaning folk are held accountable, even after the rravesty of the indictment has been made manifest.

    Comment by Narciso — 7/29/2018 @ 8:51 pm

  27. The dems are never held accountable,

    Thank you, I understand that! But I don’t agree with your entire point. The Democrats may not be held accountable by most of the media but they are by the public. Why do you think Trump was elected?

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 6:14 am

  28. It sounds like Trump is following Racehorse Haynes’ dog bite defense, and he has moved on to Step 2: First, there was no collusion. Second, collusion was not a crime.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 6:37 am

  29. And this is why they cooked up crossfire hurricane and the dossier and were still dealing with this garbage two years later.

    Comment by narciso — 7/30/2018 @ 6:44 am

  30. Yes, drj when they lose democrats try to void the election, they succeeded with Watergate, they failed with Reagan, and they got about half way with w

    Comment by narciso — 7/30/2018 @ 6:51 am

  31. Similar to how Trump dumbs down the electorate with insults, bullying, stupid names for his opponents, denying that he said/did things he said and did, and his economic and historical ignorance?

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 7:21 am

  32. Did you miss the part of Patterico’s posts where he says the GOP can’t complain about lying, immoral, ignorant Democrats now that it has a lying, immoral, ignorant leader?

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 7:43 am

  33. Should I add hypocrite to the list? Probably.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 7:44 am

  34. How do you spot a demagogue?

    One way, I would suggest, is that he uses language to manipulate people into defining their patriotism in terms of him and his political agenda rather than in terms of the nation as a whole and its processes and institutions.”

    Trump wants to divide us for political gain, but there is enough dividing us already. When we can, we need to find common ground in issues and not in the tactics used to divide us. Trump is trying to divide us just as much as Obama did.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 7:59 am

  35. So you’re ok with the democrats overturning an election, because trump.

    Comment by Narciso — 7/30/2018 @ 8:22 am

  36. Where are Democrats trying to overturn an election?

    That’s just an ignorant talking point. Even if there was a video of Trump literally taking direction from Putin, Clinton doesn’t get to be President, there is not a new election.

    First Congress would have to impeach Trump, then it would be President Pence. If you had a video of Pence taking direction from Putin, he could be impeached and whomever he named as VP, would be President

    The next chance to elect a new President is 2020, and no Democrat is getting named in the interim, there is zero chance, it is a null set.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/30/2018 @ 8:44 am

  37. So you’re ok with the democrats overturning an election, because trump.

    Comment by Narciso — 7/30/2018 @ 8:22 am

    That’s an interesting observation since I think it’s a problem that both Parties have people who are lying, immoral, ignorant and hypocritical. Are you projecting? Are you ok with the GOP doing anything to win, because Trump?

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 11:55 am

  38. Oh God, Guiliani was just pre-butting a story about a second strategy meeting before the original meeting. Specifically confirming that Cohen, Manafort, Kushner, and Jr. were there, but not Donald, “He wasn’t involved in the Russia transaction”. A story that hadn’t yet come out.

    That guy is not helping. If he’s getting paid, he needs a serious performance review and be put on an improvement plan.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/30/2018 @ 12:13 pm

  39. He has a bad story to sell. Selling it in tiny, digestible, misleading pieces is all he can do.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 12:40 pm

  40. If this keeps up, the Democrats will push to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings because they will hope to flip the Senate in November. I think that may be why Paul came out today for Kavanaugh.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 12:45 pm

  41. DRJ – thank you.
    I don’t get a lot of time to post, so I tend not to, as the commets are usually old by the time I get the chance to type something up.
    I’ll try later, but thanks for the welcome.

    Comment by TomM — 7/30/2018 @ 12:50 pm

  42. This website’s comment section doesn’t move as fast, Tom, and there is always a place for a sincere comment.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 12:54 pm

  43. Colonel Klink,

    A pre-meeting suggests this was more important to the Trump campaign than they make it sound. It also explains why so many important family and campaign people were around. To me, it suggests they expected to get important information OR they expected to make important foreign contacts. Or both.

    The next step is finding out what was said and corroborate it. The Trump people and the Russians have self-serving agendas, but there may be someone sharing the details with Mueller.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 1:00 pm

  44. Thanks DRJ.
    So, several things.
    1) I too think there’s a lot of smoke for something that is not a fire, but I also think it’s going to come out.
    And that’s why the mouthpieces are panicking. But what really astounds me is the cognitive dissonance that the hard core supporters need to accept. Today it’s “There was no collusion! But if there was… it’s Hillary’s fault. I actually saw a comment that said basically It was Hillary’s fault since she was so bad it forced Trump to have to get dirt on her from the Russians. That he would not of had to collude (if he did, of course!), if she were not so evil.
    2) The willful blindness of Trump’s super fans.
    I mean, I’m old enough to remember to the days of Nixon and the 70’s and I feel we’ve gone back to them in many ways… and that was a bad time. This is a bad time.
    What is happening is not normal. The way the administration operates is not normal, or good. The degenerating of traditional allies is not normal. I don’t even argue with the idea that we need some changes to NATO, or to our relationships with our southern and Northern neighbors. But honestly – why be suck dicks about it? Why be rude and petty from the get go? Ottawa and London and Munich have not been nasty; we have not been a argument over this stuff, why come out of the gates as such A@@holes? Why not be normal and deal with issues in a respectful manner? Do Trumpists really think we’ve been treated so poorly lately that those effete Euros deserve it? And if so, why not Russia then? Why so nice to them?
    3) I feel like we are living in a messed up version of the sequel to the Revenge of the Nerds, where the Jocks get their payback on the nerds for winning the first time around. Don’t pay it forward, that’s for wussies, pay it backwards. MAGA!

    Comment by TomM — 7/30/2018 @ 5:59 pm

  45. LOL – a couple of typos!
    1) The denigration of traditional allies
    2) Such dicks about treating allies poorly – not suck… a pretty obvious Freudian slip!

    Comment by TomM — 7/30/2018 @ 6:07 pm

  46. Because that’s the only they learn, they aren’t willing to put up with a token 2% gdp, Germany saddled itself with a million unskilled Moslems in addition to abandoning nuclear power, France seems somewhat sensible among the three. For a,leader who virtue signals over the Algerian expedition of 1830,

    Comment by Narciso — 7/30/2018 @ 6:21 pm

  47. TomM,

    I think a lot of Americans are so unhappy with politicians that they see “not normal” as a good thing. In fact, the only alternative they may see to “business as usual” is “not normal.”

    Comment by DRJ — 7/30/2018 @ 8:24 pm

  48. That’s bull – and again, it is simple to say it was wrong to act that way, and needlessly provocative. It is not wrong to do so.
    I’ll bet that you dollars to donuts that you never even gave it a passing thought, other than to think, yes the NATO alliance needs modernizing.
    I’ll bet you never thought that insulting and demeaning allies was a great thing until Trump said it; that if Obama or some other Dem acted in any way close to the way Trump does you’d be demanding his scalp.
    That’s the point – you are all so transparent, it’s as if you never really had fixed commitments to anything, only against things.
    But, fairly, I know nothing about you other than what you write, so who knows. However your written history does not give you much high ground to stand on; rather it gives you plenty of mud in which to wallow.

    Comment by TomM — 7/30/2018 @ 8:31 pm

  49. DRJ – Maybe, but that is giving usually smart people a HUGE pass, don’t you think?
    It that were true the people would be revolted at the grifters enconsed in the administration, and depressing ly enough, it does not seem like that is the case.
    What it really seems like is we are being looted by sharpies looking for an edge – one’s that’ll say and excuse anything becasue they believe nothing, and nothing matters. They get to papaer over older positions they held, other ideals they had, all to profit momentary -even if only to psychologically “own the other side”.

    Comment by TomM — 7/30/2018 @ 8:42 pm

  50. I think Trump is a conman, TomM, but not everyone shares my view. IMO:

    1. Some think his wealth shows he is smarter than most people so we shouldn’t second-guess his decisions. (This is the view that irritates me the most because I think Trump is a poor businessman.)

    2. Some think he should have a chance to show what his leadership can do. (I think many of them believe in the BINARY CHOICE argument.)

    3. Some think anyone is better than the existing political leaders of both Parties, so they want to blow the whole thing up and start over. (Trump is very good at that but populism is a “Party,” too, and the same people will end up running things).

    These aren’t my views but I think people, pushed to despair or exasperation about politics and our leaders, can reasonably hold these views.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/31/2018 @ 7:05 am

  51. You can second guess his decisions, but when they turn out right one should admit That, denying there was ever going to be a summit, that there has been some progress on the missile front, ignoring that he has built up capacities if we ever needed to confront russia, such as the reactivation of the 2nd fleet, the javelin missiles to the ukraine…

    Comment by Narciso — 7/31/2018 @ 8:11 am

  52. Do you give Trump credit for this?

    U.S. spy satellites have detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, a senior U.S. official said on Monday, in the midst of talks to compel Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arms.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/31/2018 @ 8:32 am

  53. I realized today that since Trump does not have consistent values/principles and can’t clearly articulate his specific goals, I am less willing to trust him when he uses unconventional tactics. I would feel different if this was Pence or Cruz or even Rubio or Jeb. We know what they are.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/31/2018 @ 9:19 am

  54. I have a hard time finding good things Trump has done, then you compare those to a generic Republican, and you get the same “good” and less “bad”

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/31/2018 @ 9:30 am

  55. I agree.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/31/2018 @ 11:08 am

  56. For you all – I understand that millions of people don’t think he’s a con man.
    Hard to believe from my point of view.
    But here is the dilemma: I’ve been told over and over that part of the mess we are in is because millions of people feel (or have been conned into feeling) “disrespected” due to educational level, regional differences, cultural sensitivities, and the the growing disparity of wealth.
    Whether it’s true or not, it’s taken hold.
    Even if it’s a form of political Munchausen disease, it’s here and we have to deal with it.
    But now – how do we deal with it? And how do we dealt with the manifestly corrupt people that are pushing that fear and anger?

    I believe that these two things can be true: People are fearful and angry about the rapidly changing world, and there are people who push that narrative who are corrupt and profiting from keeping people in fear and anger.
    It’s clear that Trump in particular is profiting from exacerbating that fear and anger.
    To dismiss Trump and his “Deplorable’s” is what he wants, because it feeds into the narrative he is selling… but then again what he is selling is corrupt and divisive.
    How do you call it out without being shut down? Without reinforcing the toxic narrative just by questioning it?

    It gets back to what I mentioned earlier – Everything that people think is positive that has happened since he’s taken office (Judges, the economy tonking along) could have been done in a respectful and professional manner. We (the people) don’t need this crap. So the question is, why support it? Why support the whining and churlishness? The lying and false braggadocio? The brazen immorality? If you are a super fan, you’ve get everything you wanted and more without it. The only thing you’d miss is being able to piss all over others. You’d miss bulling and shoving others around. And to me that seems to be the motivating factor for millions of people. It’s depressing, and contra virtually everything I was taught by my parents and by my church.

    Comment by TomM — 7/31/2018 @ 11:43 am

  57. We tried politeness. We got walked over. Our enemy does not follow these rules of ‘respect’. They lie, cheat, and steal. They attack us physically and then their cops don’t enforce the law.

    No way. All done. If there’s no rules for thee there’s no rules for me. If our top guy has to engage in puffery, so be it. Puff away! We have the best puffery, ladies and gentlemen. The best!

    Sticks and stone break bones but words don’t hurt. They’re using sticks, stones, and words. We can use whatever the heck we please.

    Comment by Ingot9455 — 7/31/2018 @ 12:55 pm

  58. 57 – Bull Hockey.
    It’s a silly rationalization and untrue.
    It’s exactly what I was talking about too, you don’t even bother to try to explain, you just spout radio talkshow talking points.
    “The enemy”?
    Who is the enemy, exactly?
    “They attack us physically and their cops don’t enforce the law”.
    Who attacked you, personally?
    Or for that matter who attacked anyone you know “physically” that was not helped out by law enforcement?
    “We tried politeness. We got walked over”.
    When? Are you talking about meanies on twitter and comment sections of blogs? Poor baby. By the way, congress has moved republican since the early 90’s. The senate too, while in the White House we have switched parties back and forth for over 80 years. State houses are 2/3 republican and have been for a while.
    So just who the hell has been “walked over”? And by whom? Or (which I suspect) are you just railing about cultural issues like LGBT and #MeToo?
    I know this is the polite side of the blog, so I’ll just call this what it is, without invective – intellectual laziness.
    I said you’d get what you want and more by not being bullies and jerks. You respond that you got to get your pound of flesh back, from… someone, and to hell with everyone else. It kind of proves the point.

    Comment by TomM — 7/31/2018 @ 1:44 pm

  59. That is a perfectly illuminating response. It’s whataboutism, except with violence as undertones. Calling other citizens “enemies”.

    It’s like you don’t actually know what an enemy really is, you cheapen it, use it lazily, for silly, juvenile reasons.

    This is the place that the coarsening of our dialogue has taken us. Where a man like Reagan could never make it through a primary, as he’s much too liberal, it leads us to a situation with a 72-year-old tween, and online troll is president. And he literally knows nothing more than a 13-year-old, and they could at least have a mandatory education.

    conservatism, small c, philosophy is dead in the current Republican party, it has been overshadowed with nationalistic populism. Small government, fiscal sanity, reality-based foreign policy, are gone; replaced with trolling alt-somethings, and pwnage, as policy.

    My first voting experience was for Reagan in 84, so I’m a liberal, I guess, since in reality, the Republican party hasn’t moved right, it’s left the classic conservative/liberal spectrum behind, in most ways its adopted the worst, most juvenile, beliefs (and adopted stereotypes) of each. So what do you do, keep trying to remind people what conservatism actually means, even when the response is puerile.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/31/2018 @ 2:04 pm

  60. I agree with TomM and Colonel Klink. I wonder how many voters are energized by the turn politics has taken on the left and the right, vs how many are demoralized by it and will stay home?

    Comment by DRJ — 7/31/2018 @ 3:42 pm

  61. Really how many democratic activist heck public officials, defend police and military except in the most perfunctory way, that’s just one example, how many voted for the tax cuts, vs voting for the whole raft of taxes in robertscare.

    Comment by narciso — 7/31/2018 @ 4:43 pm

  62. Example: a person or thing regarded in terms of their fitness to be imitated or the likelihood of their being imitated.

    A few raging crazies doesn’t a majority make. Or do you claim Alex Jones as a normal member of the tribe?

    So, your example, isn’t, and the rest is indecipherable in English.

    Again, what does any of this have to do with a Republican president who is actually in office? So you’re totally against Hillary’s administration…great, except she’s not in office and won’t be, ever again.

    But you’re obviously on the pro-swamp side, as long as it’s your swamp.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 7/31/2018 @ 5:16 pm

  63. Still arguing for the Binary Choice, Narciso? Will we ever have anything but a binary choice between candidates like Trump/Hillary at this rate?

    Comment by DRJ — 7/31/2018 @ 5:16 pm

  64. Trump now admits the Trump Tower meeting was about getting dirt on Hillary, not Russian adoptions. He has trouble keeping his stories straight.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/5/2018 @ 9:46 am

  65. So the “fake news” stories were not fake. Isn’t this flat out admitting to Conspiracy to defraud the United States of America? This isn’t even looking at obstruction of justice. A predicate crime occurred-hacking, with an agreement between parties-not just TT meeting, Trump straight up asking on live TV for the hacked materials, and his last 18 months of talk proving a consciousness of guilt. That is just the conspiracy bit, then there is the obstruction, FEC violations.

    The general conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. sec 371, creates an offense “[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.

    The operative language is the so-called “defraud clause,” that prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States. This clause creates a separate offense from the “offense clause” in Section 371. Both offenses require the traditional elements of Section 371 conspiracy, including an illegal agreement, criminal intent, and proof of an overt act.

    To conspire to defraud the United States means primarily to cheat the Government out of property or money, but it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest. It is not necessary that the Government shall be subjected to property or pecuniary loss by the fraud, but only that its legitimate official action and purpose shall be defeated by misrepresentation, chicane or the overreaching of those charged with carrying out the governmental intention.

    Comment by Colonel Klink — 8/5/2018 @ 10:17 am

  66. You are right that it is an intent crime. IOW a defendant must have an intent to defraud. Defendants rarely admit that was their intent, except perhaps to friends or associates, which s why prosecutors try to flip associates like Manafort (and why flipping Gates could hurt Manafort).

    Otherwise prosecutors rely on circumstantial evidence that suggests defendants had the requisite intent. Thus, Manafort’s prosecutor is showing a pattern of lies by Manafort, Gates, and an accountant that deceived lenders. That is circumstantial evidence of an intent to deceive. Similarly, Mueller might show Trump and his associates lied for their benefit. It doesn’t admit intent but it can be evidence/proof of intent.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/5/2018 @ 10:58 am

  67. No manafort is providing persons who had to be immunized for conduct that happened in the last administration,

    Comment by narciso — 8/12/2018 @ 10:48 am

  68. Why was manafort targeted, yet podesta and weber, are given specia treatment, I take issue with the fact trump doesnt know, its much more like Ryan and Mcdonnell dont know wag they are doing.

    Comment by narciso — 8/12/2018 @ 10:55 am

  69. They should have been investigated. Trump is President. Why hasn’t he ordered the DOJ to investigate? Maybe he is incompetent, or he sympathizes with Democrats, or he doesn’t care about corruption. Or all of the above.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/12/2018 @ 11:44 am

  70. No manafort is providing persons who had to be immunized for conduct that happened in the last administration,

    Comment by narciso — 8/12/2018 @ 10:48 am


    Comment by DRJ — 8/12/2018 @ 11:45 am

  71. Because they conjured up this garbage dossier, which became the fisa warrant which waa circulated around town like yesterday’s left overs, they forced sessions recusal so rosenstein could run the investigation without challenge.

    Comment by Narciso — 8/12/2018 @ 12:37 pm

  72. Look at apelbaum who examined how this montage was created, in much greater detail than anything that had been represented as intelligence on either coast.

    Comment by Narciso — 8/12/2018 @ 12:40 pm

  73. So we have the concord case which relies almost exclusively on the buzzfeed piece which had serious attribution problems.

    Comment by Narciso — 8/12/2018 @ 12:43 pm

  74. Because they conjured up this garbage dossier, which became the fisa warrant which waa circulated around town like yesterday’s left overs, they forced sessions recusal so rosenstein could run the investigation without challenge.

    Comment by Narciso — 8/12/2018 @ 12:37 pm

    None of that prevents Trump from ordering the DOJ from investigating anything. The only thing stopping Trump is Trump.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/12/2018 @ 4:08 pm

  75. Who will do it, they’ve given huber some makework
    but I doubt much will come of it, btw Scott dworkin one of the loudest grishenko criers was Biden media advisers.

    Comment by narciso — 8/12/2018 @ 4:53 pm

  76. Who will do it? So Trump is incapable of identifying and/or hiring qualified people to work in the DOJ, let alone investigate crimes?

    If so, then he has absolutely no executive abilities and he is not qualified to be President.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/12/2018 @ 6:12 pm

  77. Competent executives need more than goals. They need to have a plan to attain their goals and know how to implement/institutionalize the plan throughout the organization. Real business leaders know it is not enough to say “I want to do X” but have no plan to achieve it.

    Identifying key personnel who can help do this is something Republicans are especially aware of in DC. It’s why past GOP Presidents have brought their own people with them to Washington. Trump brought his own people, too — people like Omarosa. How has that worked out?

    Comment by DRJ — 8/13/2018 @ 7:49 am

  78. Read Trump’s tweets about Omarosa, like this:

    Donald J. Trump
    Donald J. Trump
    Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard….

    He had a history with her and knew she was bad but Trump hired her anyway, and not just for a TV show or a low-level position but for the White House. Who is the idiot in this story? Who, other than the American public, are the victims?

    Comment by DRJ — 8/13/2018 @ 7:58 am

  79. He kept her around because she said good things about him:

    Donald J. Trump
    Donald J. Trump
    …really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me – until she got fired!

    His feelings matter more than doing a good job, like he’s shown in his dealings with the DOJ. In the words of General Kelly, he’s a LOSER.

    Comment by DRJ — 8/13/2018 @ 8:03 am

  80. @Popehat

    The simplest explanation — that Trump goes about his business haphazardly, driven by petulance, narcissism, and mediocrity, while those around him scramble to portray it as a plan — is generally the most reliable one.
    8:45 AM · Jul 17, 2018

    Comment by DRJ — 8/13/2018 @ 8:20 am

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