Yeah, that’s not exactly how Nixon phrased it, but even 1974’s comparatively innocent news readers understood what he meant. Those pious disavowals didn’t save him from leaving the Oval Office one step ahead of criminal prosecution.
There will be, no doubt, any amount of parsing and hair-splitting by tomorrow morning, crimesplaining that Dear Leader Trump never meant anything bad should happen to Ambassador Yovanovitch — it was just sarcasm, a thought experiment if you will, assuming he even understood what his less-evolved aides might’ve been suggesting. That didn’t work for Nixon, who was infinitely smarter and a whole lot more experienced than the figurehead in today’s Stupid Watergate. Even if Trump could be restrained from claiming full credit for every unsavory plot, I frankly doubt any of the current Oval Office Occupant’s minions and coatholders are anywhere near as loyal as Tricky Dick’s boys. The smartest ones left — low bar, that — are already talking to their lawyers. Or the feds.
The more I look over these texts, I am seriously worried they were planning to murder an American diplomat. https://t.co/vVBjCxY3LK
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) January 14, 2020
They took notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy. https://t.co/jalfJwTkzZ
— Malarksist Revolutionary (@agraybee) January 14, 2020
It's the mix of forces in the surveillance of Yovanovitch that is terrifying. Corrupt UKR prosecutors (mingling with a notorious mob-tied oligarch) who had plenty of reason to think the American President would back their play.
What did they think they could get away with?
— YYZedd (@Zeddary) January 15, 2020
As a former mafia prosecutor, this sure sounds like a mob hit was being planned on a public servant in a foreign country by associates of the POTUS. A POTUS who said she was “going to go through some things.” This takes Trump’s lawlessness & misogny to new level. https://t.co/Cx5S0u4vQP
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) January 15, 2020
Someone does not dangle an innuendo of being able to orchestrate a hit before one has a reason to believe they actually could.
I’m with Malcolm Nance on this. https://t.co/AbfzOjqRhr
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) January 15, 2020
Many Ambassadors are used to hearing about threats and various malign actors surveilling us. It’s the fact that it was Americans plotting- associates of the President- that takes this just beyond.
— Dana Shell Smith (@AmbDana) January 15, 2020
I cannot even imagine the rage at the State Department that a Republican donor was coordinating surveillance on a US Ambassador, and that maybe the FSB was involved.
— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) January 15, 2020
— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) January 14, 2020
“Yovanovitch swore to tell the whole truth, but to tell the whole truth is to terrify everyone. To tell the whole truth is to say what officials gloss over but what citizens can see: This is a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government." https://t.co/OOhBLkKRRc
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) January 14, 2020
BREAKING: Ambassador Yovanovitch calls for an investigation into whether she was surveilled.
Her lawyer Lawrence Robbins tells @NBCNews the notion her movements were being monitored is "disturbing" pic.twitter.com/aZLISjtieB
— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) January 15, 2020