Late Night “It’s Always Projection” Thread: You May Not Believe “The Tape” Exists, But Trump’s Closest Associates Certainly Do

… And that’s why they were so desperate, so certain, that the Clinton campaign must be hiding some deeply embarrassing / criminal evidence.

EVERYBODY DOES IT has always been the go-to defense for the Trump crime cartel, not to mention the Republican Party.

The Editor in Chief of Lawfare:


56 replies
  1. 1
    Fred Fnord says:

    In the same way that Hawaii borders on the Pacific Ocean.

  2. 2
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    Trump has guzzled enough Russian hooker pee to float his own swollen orange carcass in. And he loved it.

  3. 3
    hitchhiker says:

    This was high times for the trumpies — they were going to get the nomination, they were going to be running against hrc, and it was gonna be FUN.

    The campaign was already studded with long-time hillary-haters, the very same group that had successfully sniffed bill’s underwear 20 years ago. They were positive that her private emails — the 33,000 personal mails she deleted before giving her work-related ones to the investigators — were a gold mine.

    There was going to be all manner of juicy stuff there! Benghazi things, foundation things, child porn things, corruption up the wazoo … and they believed that the Russians had the whole treasure trove. You can read their excitement in the tweets they were sending during the weeks just after this meeting.

    Does it even matter that the entire thing was insane from the jump? These people are grotesque; they can’t be shown the door fast enough.

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Trump Jr.’s statement clears both Manafort and Kushner.

    I don’t see how.

    Either that meeting was more important than they’re saying or it was easy to get Trump’s 3 closest aides in a meeting w/ a pointless nobody.

    This. It simply beggars belief that Manafort and Kushner, at the height of the campaign, and with the convention only weeks off, would attend a meeting with someone they (supposedly) didn’t know for a (supposedly) agenda-less discussion.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    And, perhaps the biggest news out of this NYT story is that the spokesperson for Pres. Trump’s legal team let Don Jr. out all on his own.

    I thought Don Jr. had already done his own lawyering-up. But either way, whether his lawyer or his daddy’s legal team spox, it’s pretty stunning that Jr. is releasing statements about this to the media.

  6. 6
    LosGatosCA says:

    Drip, drip, drip.

  7. 7
    hellslittlestangel says:

    At this point, everything hinges on the controversial question of whether or not crime is illegal.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    The GOP has been getting away with this garbage for so long, it looks like Trumpster crooks figured its so damn easy, you you just do whatever the hell you want, it’s and never a problem
    Nixon, Reagan did it with GOP help. Bush I was busy barricading himself from the Reagan escapade he maybe didn’t have time. McCain tried it when one of his foreign policy advisers, who doubled as an adviser to Georgia, tried to gin up a little international crisis with the Rooskies and their occupation of Ossetia.

    The cover story that Donnie Jr went to the meeting thinking that a Russian lawyer had some dirt on HRC, but walked after it turned out to be some BS crap about poor orphans and mumble bumble, Magnitsky Act, was so absurd and incoherent and damning on its own terms, I’m not surprised it fell apart in less than a day. As I mentioned in the thread below, amazing to think that is the f*ck*ng cover story.

  9. 9
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: if this were a legal case, you’d be right. It’s not. This is a political case that will be tried in the court of public opinion. Unless Republican voters turn on Trump and he becomes a liability in primaries, he and his entourage are perfectly safe and can make statements that would doom an ordinary litigant.

  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Doesn’t Trump (President* not Jr.) usually pull something totally outrageous to distract everyone whenever things start to get a little warm? Wonder what tomorrow’s tweets will bring.

    God willing, I’ll get a few hours of sleep before I find out. Night, all.

  11. 11
    jl says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    ” At this point, everything hinges on the controversial question of whether or not crime is illegal. ”

    When Hannity devotes an entire special show to that intriguing issue, we’ll know some really juicy bits of the story are about to break.

  12. 12
    Arclite says:

    Hey, don’t forget that Hillary had an email server, and that’s way worse than this. Boys will be boys, amirite?

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    “We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.”
    – Nikita Khrushchev (attributed)

  14. 14
    Shalimar says:

    The whole administration is a neverending clusterorgy.

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    At this point, everything hinges on the controversial question of whether or not crime is illegal.

    Thread won.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @Shalimar: We need new words for it.
    Clusterorgy is good How about clustercrap?
    Maybe the blog could have a contest for appropriate technical lexicon for Trumpster horribleness.

  17. 17
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    This is a political case that will be tried in the court of public opinion. Unless Republican voters turn on Trump and he becomes a liability in primaries, he and his entourage are perfectly safe and can make statements that would doom an ordinary litigant.

    And then the Civil breakdown goes critical.

  18. 18
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I don’t really get this either. If Don Jr. is saying that Kushner and Manafort (probably the two most important people in the campaign after Trump Sr) showed up to this meeting without knowing what it was about, that’s pretty stupid. But let’s take that on its face.

    In which case, they knew that Don Jr had attempted to collude with Russia to disrupt our own elections and hid that fact. They’re accessories.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    @TenguPhule: Hellslittlestangel: got to a good point about how they are trying to gaslight the whole country.

    Is crime really that illegal? Is dumb as box of rocks really stupid, when you think about it? Is doing nothing really not doing anything?
    Is malfeasance really negligence, is it really bad?

    Need to jam the garbage the Trumpsters spout, and any regurgitated by the big media pundits, back down their throats.

  20. 20
    Aaron says:

    In fairness, the Gore campaign may have rejected the bush briefing book because they didnt need a coloring book.

  21. 21
    James Powell says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Unless Republican voters turn on Trump and he becomes a liability in primaries, he and his entourage are perfectly safe and can make statements that would doom an ordinary litigant.

    Agreed. And I’m still thinking that some before the end of the year the basic facts of all this are going to be laid out before the public and nothing will happen. Oh, people will talk, write, and talk some more, but the Republicans and their voters are going to stand together and stand with Trump because any other move results in a loss to America’s real enemies, the Democratic Party.

    Things might change, but I don’t see any hope unless and until Democrats can win the midterms.

  22. 22
    jl says:

    @TenguPhule: Naw, most of the Trumpster shock troops will have run themselves into heart attacks and strokes running hither and thither to fake antifa protests that don’t materialize. And the rest will shoot themselves in their own buttocks.

  23. 23
    gene108 says:

    @jl:

    When Hannity devotes an entire special show to that intriguing issue, we’ll know some really juicy bits of the story are about to break.

    What amazes me is how all-in right-wing media is in Trump. From Fox News to Christian radio stations, they are all going out of their way to make Trump seem like a good President, who is beset by shameless enemies.

    They are so vested in Trump being the agent to enact the Republican agenda to destroy Obamacare, cut taxes, ban abortion, repeal the Johnson amendment, etc., they will justify anything, without shame or conscience.

    And yet their faithful listeners will keep tuning in and singing their praises, and denying what the rest of the media says, even bas evidence mounts about Trump’s corruption.

  24. 24
    JWR says:

    Sorry for checking in so late, but does anyone really think that Don the Small would admit to such a thing if he didn’t already know that Mueller is likely aware of this information?

  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    @jl: As much as I love to mock the cliches, there are still enough of these fuckers to hurt and kill a lot of innocent people. I’m calling it at this point that we’re going to see the first outbreaks of violence before the year’s end, though I couldn’t tell you where exactly. But the pressure is building and something is definitely going to blow.

  26. 26
    Joyce H says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It simply beggars belief that Manafort and Kushner, at the height of the campaign, and with the convention only weeks off, would attend a meeting with someone they (supposedly) didn’t know for a (supposedly) agenda-less discussion.

    More than that – it also beggars belief that Trump himself was not at this meeting. We know from the schedule that he was actually in Trump Tower at the time, and that he and his closest aides were meeting to prepare for a speech he was going to give on negative stuff about Clinton. And along comes a lawyer who claims to have negative info about Clinton, and she turns out to be an attractive foreign woman decades younger than Trump, which is (WHAT a coINcidence!) just His Type. But his three main guys take this meeting IN HIS OWN OFFICES, and he doesn’t know about it and doesn’t attend? Please.

  27. 27
    ThresherK says:

    @NotMax: I thought it was “It’s your funeral” as in “Your need to destroy us will ruin you (and we just have to sit and wait)”.

    I know no Russian, but the translation of subject v. object, and passive v. active verb, have been discussed by smarter, more idiom-knowing folk.

    PS A cat rescue specializing in calicos and torties, as mentioned downstairs. Eeeeeeeeee!

  28. 28
    PPCLI says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It is striking that DTJr is releasing statements, but this is an unusual situation — most targets of investigations don’t have access to intelligence briefings that detail the evidence against them.

    The strategy up to now has been just deny, deny, deny until evidence contradicts the denials, and then change the story and deny, deny, deny some more, until evidence contradicts those denials, and… Probably the lawyers they have now all just hired (the real lawyers, not the thugs previously on the job whose sole skill is to threaten and launch ruinous lawsuits) have pointed out that repeatedly getting caught in demonstrable lies is, and can be taken in court to be, evidence of consciousness of guilt.

    So instead the tactic is: extract from the briefings etc. (plus any friendly sources in the FBI, CIA, …) exactly what information various agencies have about what went on in the meeting. Admit to everything that can be proven, and get out front on minimizing it. That’s why Don Jr.’s lawyers carefully crafted this statement and Don Jr. released it under his name.

    So, fx, I assume that there are recordings or other solid evidence that make it clear that the Magnitsky act was discussed. So: say that the contact brought it up, and that they immediately shut the meeting down. Perhaps there is evidence that the meeting took at least 30 minutes, but no evidence about exactly how long: so assert that the meeting took exactly 30 minutes. Intelligence can document exactly who it was who contacted Don Jr. to bring about the meeting, so admit that, but characterize the person as “an acquaintance”. Etc.

    That’s why the statement is released, and as one of the Wittes tweets points out, all the sourcing for this story is from White House aides. This is a new coordinated strategy. Maybe they figure that it is the best they can do, given what is still to drop.

  29. 29
    Keith P. says:

    @Bobby Thomson: for Trump Sr, it is a political matter. But for everyone else, it is a potential criminal matter until he decides to pardon, which would empty his political capital account.

  30. 30
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Spokesman for Trump’s lawyer, Mark Corallo, reaffirmed “the president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting,”

    It says a lot about your current POTUS that these two denials need to be spelled out separately.

  31. 31
    CM says:

    Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that one of the people who met with this beautiful Russian lawyer was Paul Manafort. That would be this Paul Manafort, as reported in USA Today (Mar 22, 2017:

    “President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.
    Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, … Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP.”

  32. 32
    CM says:

    It is also worth remembering that Donald Trump himself (and the rest of the Trump clan?) was in Moscow in a big way just 3 years earlier in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant. Here is an excerpt of how that went down from Politico (05/15/20l6):

    “But the deeper story of how he brought the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow — a classic Trumpian tale of money, power and pulchritude — does shed fresh light on the business interests and personal contacts that have helped to shape his views about the country. It also reveals more about his personal courtship of Putin, which long predates his presidential bid. At the heart of the episode is Trump’s relationship with Aras Agalarov, a billionaire Russian real estate mogul with ties to Putin, and Agalarov’s rakish son, Emin, 36, a dance-pop singer with ambitions to international stardom who got Trump to appear in one of his music videos. The father and son are two of several ultra-wealthy Russians to whom Trump is connected and with whom he has pursued real estate deals. “I have always been interested in building in Russia,” he told the New York Post just after his return from Moscow. He also boasted upon his return from the pageant that “almost all of the oligarchs were in the room.””

  33. 33
    J R in WV says:

    This is a long slog. But I had access to news-wires at the local newspaper – The AP, UPI, The N Y Times, several other more specific wires (did you know that The AP had a racing wire with every race/participants, win, show and place with times from every house track in the country? mostly placed in bars where bets were mace – shocked to see that in this establishment!) and was able to watch the Nixon administration fail in real time.

    This is happening on the Internet tubes. Where everyone can watch it in real time. They are crashing and burning as we watch. No wonder President* Trump looked distracted at the G-20 meetings in Hamburg DE last weekend! He was distracted!! Very Distracted!!!!

    What a perp walk we are going to see. I can’t wait.

  34. 34
    Bruce K says:

    Wasn’t too long ago that Mike Godwin asserted that despite the law named for him, there are times when references to Hitler and the NSDAP are completely appropriate. Now we’ve hit a point where the terms “First Family” and “treason” actually, legitimately, literally belong in the same sentence.

    I cannot wait until the cheeto’s legally-guaranteed post-presidential pension cheques are forwarded to Ossining, New York.

  35. 35
    jonas says:

    @Joyce H: Of course he was aware of it. That’s why he made that crack back during the campaign that if Russia has any “other” Hillary emails from the wiped server, they should release them. That raised eyebrows back then, and now we know why.

  36. 36
    jonas says:

    @CM: As I keep saying, I don’t know how this whole collusion thing will pan out, but one thing that’s gonna get blown wide open is that the Trump Org is deeply implicated in the Russian/Eastern European (and possibly also Chinese via Kushner) criminal underworlds and that Trump has been laundering money for these folks for decades.

  37. 37
    lowtechcyclist says:

    FDR allied himself with Russia…against the fucking NAZIS.

    This crew allied themselves with Russia…against a fellow American.

    Whether or not this meets the legal standard of treason, they’re fucking traitors by any reasonable everyday definition. There’s no defense for this.

  38. 38
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Bruce K:

    I cannot wait until the cheeto’s legally-guaranteed post-presidential pension cheques are forwarded to Ossining, New York.

    Unless the IRS finally completes its audit, specifically finds how and how badly El Jefe has been evading taxes, and those funds get garnished to pay the penalties that pauper Mr. Goldendick.

    What, a guy can dream, can’t he?

  39. 39
    Central Planning says:

    CNN just said that the Russian lawyer categorically denied any collusion in the election. Riiiight. I’m sure that’s what Putin told her to say.

  40. 40
    SFAW says:

    News item: President* Lying Littledick found to have given US “nucular codes” and names of all covert US agents in Russia to new BFF/BTF Vladimir Putin.
    His Base/typical Rethug voter: La-la-la-la-la I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!
    Turtle and ZEGS: What The Base said.

    We need to keep hanging him, his Maladministration, and their traitorous activities, on all Rethug Sens and Reps for the next 16 months.

    In the meantime, I’m hoping for a large-but-not-too-large, well-targeted meteorite to put in an appearance at the next Murdoch family get-together.

  41. 41
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @jl:

    The GOP has been getting away with this garbage for so long, it looks like Trumpster crooks figured its so damn easy, you you just do whatever the hell you want, it’s and never a problem

    This. A million times this.

  42. 42
    Joyce H says:

    @Central Planning:

    CNN just said that the Russian lawyer categorically denied any collusion in the election. Riiiight. I’m sure that’s what Putin told her to say.

    Of course there was no collusion! And of course Lawyer Ninotchka, who just happened to be exactly the type of woman that Trump is known for preferring, is NOT a Russian agent. And of course the three senior campaign aides, who’ve been in meetings with the Boss all that day, happen to be available for a discussion on some obscure issue of international adoption policy. It’s all just this big amazing coincidence. (And before you ask, yes, it DID hurt – when I fell off the turnip truck, I mean.)

  43. 43
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @gene108: It’s their only hope. If it wasn’t for McConnell, they would have lost the SC for a generation. Extremism in the defense of not having to buy (insurance that pays for) your employees’ birth control pills is no vice.

    You know what I was just thinking is amazing? None of this is a surprise. We knew the contours of the Trump administration before the election. We knew he was an bully whose business model depended on cheating people and daring them to sue him. We knew he had no policy ideas, no understanding of the job, and no motivation to get any. We knew the Republicans would go after ACA, slash the regulatory apparatus and cut upper bracket taxes (because that’s what they always do). And, of course, we knew he was in cahoots with Russia.

    The details are slowly being filled in, but the broad outlines were clear long before November. And the media let it happen, the media HELPED it happen, because they hate Hillary Clinton that much.

    I’m not going to call for a violent revolution. Killing’s too good for them. Prison’s too good for them. Everyone responsible should have their assets stripped and have to live the rest of their lives at minimum wage.

  44. 44
    TS says:

    @gene108:

    What amazes me is how all-in right-wing media is in Trump. From Fox News to Christian radio stations, they are all going out of their way to make Trump seem like a good President, who is beset by shameless enemies.

    All media (if there is any not right wing). Joe of the morning has Sen Toomey on saying how sad it is that the fabulous speech in Poland was followed by these developments with Putin/Russia.

  45. 45
    AnonPhenom says:

    related
    so lawyer fall off building in Moscow, Preet Bharara gets shit-canned and then

    A Russian-owned group of companies has agreed to pay nearly $6 million to settle U.S. civil allegations that the firms laundered proceeds of a $230 million tax fraud, ending a politically charged case days before it was set to go to trial.

    no quid pro without a quo.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jl:

    The GOP has been getting away with this garbage for so long, it looks like Trumpster crooks figured its so damn easy, you you just do whatever the hell you want

    “When you’re a star, they let you do it.”

  47. 47
    Mary says:

    @Joyce H: Someone’s been watching GLOW.

  48. 48

    First, Junior must have been making himself very unpopular in the WH.

    Second, his excuse is she didn’t have the goods so it’s all fine? Seriously?

  49. 49
    aretino says:

    This borders on treason like Lesotho borders on South Africa. Anywhere you follow the road from here leads to treason.

  50. 50
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @hitchhiker:

    There was going to be all manner of juicy stuff there! Benghazi things, foundation things, child porn things, corruption up the wazoo …

    They never stop thinking this, do they? They must really believe “everybody’s doing it” because they keep making decisions (from the 1971-72 break-ins at the Watergate and at Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office on) based on that belief, that don’t really make that much sense otherwise.

  51. 51
    low-tech cyclist says:

    You know when’s the last time the GOP took the White House back from the Dems without some serious monkeywrenching?

    Eisenhower, 1952.

    Since then, the Presidency went from Dem to GOP hands on four occasions: 1968, 1980, 2000, and 2016.

    1968: Nixon’s people sabotage the Vietnam peace talks by promising the South Vietnamese junta a better deal than they’d get from Johnson/Humphrey.

    1980: Reagan’s people sabotage pre-election negotiations for the Iran hostages’ return.

    2000: the Brooks Brothers Riot kills the Miami-Dade County recount.

    2016: Trump’s people collude with the Russians to sabotage Clinton’s campaign.

  52. 52

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Doesn’t Trump (President* not Jr.) usually pull something totally outrageous to distract everyone whenever things start to get a little warm? Wonder what tomorrow’s tweets will bring.

    Yeah, but there isn’t any plan to any of this. Czar Manbaby doesn’t twit because he has some bog plan to distract us from what they’re really doing; he’s just lashing out at whatever he thinks the source of his psychic pain is at the time. He’s nothing but a damaged, confused, terrified narcissistic toddler, throwing tantrums because he feels sad and can’t make the feelings go away. This is, to my mind, the most dangerous thing about him. The threat isn’t that he’s some Machiavelli, plotting fiendishly to get away with all kinds of carefully worked out schemes to do this or that. He’s just an incompetent, greedy, needy clown who’s pissed off that we don’t all love him, that people don’t have to do whatever he tells them to do (big betrayal, very bad!) and that this just isn’t the heap of fun he thought it would be, and the twits are how he punches back at the world. That’s all there is to it.

  53. 53
    GregB says:

    @Central Planning:

    I hope she has a tea taster back in Mother Russia.

  54. 54
    Wyatt Derp says:

    Donnie Jr. has finally found something he’s good at – fall guy.

  55. 55
    cwmoss says:

    @Bruce K: Sing Sing’s a state prison, iirc. But I like the cut of your jib, sir or madam!

  56. 56
    TenguPhule says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Killing’s too good for them. Prison’s too good for them.

    They are not.

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