That October Surprise From The New York Times

Given the new developments in what we know about Donald Trump’s interactions with Russia, some of us have been kicking around that “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia” story that the New York Times served up on October 31, 2016.

Our own Tom Levenson has a theory:

James Fallows agreed.

Hillary Clinton tried to get the story out.

Here’s a more recent story on that connection to Alfa Bank.  Still ambiguous.

After the election, Times public editor Liz Spayd blasted the Times for that story. Editor Dean Baquet has given only short, weak responses like this one.

Here’s Southpaw:



Trump flips on…Trump

As we now know, Michael Cohen lied when he testified before Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow project ended in January 2016. Via The Post:

In a nine-page filing, prosecutors laid out a litany of lies that Cohen admitted he told to congressional lawmakers about the Moscow project — an attempt, Cohen said, to minimize links between the proposed development and Trump as his presidential bid was taking off.

Cohen falsely said efforts to build a Trump-branded tower in Moscow ended in January 2016, when in fact discussions continued through that year, the filing said. Among the people Cohen briefed on the status of the project was Trump himself, on more than three occasions, according to the document.

Cohen now says he pursued the Moscow project until the summer of 2016 and interacted with Putin’s office during that period. Here’s Trump’s response to this development from a short while ago:

Shorter Spanky: “I didn’t do it, but even if I did, it wasn’t wrong.”

I think the paper Trump is referring to in that clip — the document he says proves the deal was out in the open — is the proposal Cohen attached as an exhibit in his appearance before Congress, during which he now admits he lied. So, Trump is trying to create a smokescreen here. Nobody is saying the deal was 100% secret all along; the point is, Trump and Cohen lied about when the project ended.

Why? Because they’re guilty as fuck. A lot of “collusiony” things happened during the late spring and summer of 2016, including Cohen’s discussions with Putin’s assistant about setting up a meeting between Putin and Trump after the RNC, the pro-Russia change to the GOP platform (the sole change the Trump people requested at the RNC), the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians offering dirt, the conversations between Stone, Corsi, an intermediary and Assange, etc.

It looks damning because it IS damning. They’re lying because they’re guilty. And Cohen’s plea document hints that there’s plenty of evidence to corroborate his contacts with the Putin regime and Trump principals that summer.

Trump’s statement above was made as he was boarding Marine One on his way to the G20 summit in Argentina. He was originally scheduled to meet Putin there, but moments ago, Trump claimed he cancelled that meeting to protest Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships:

Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!

What a load of horse shit — he doesn’t care about the Ukrainian ships any more than he cares about the Saudis’ murder of a US-based journalist who worked for The Post. Trump is afraid of being exposed.

This is a surreal shit-show, friends, and I am so ready for the fucking credits to roll.

Trump lied to Mueller — in writing

CNN says it has a source who has described Trump’s responses to two of the questions the Mueller team sent in lieu of the interview President Chickenshit Von Bonespurs refused to sit for:

President Donald Trump told special counsel Robert Mueller in writing that Roger Stone did not tell him about WikiLeaks, nor was he told about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, campaign officials and a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

One source described the President’s answers without providing any direct quotes and said the President made clear he was answering to the best of his recollection.

I don’t believe for a nanosecond that Stone would withhold such a bombshell from Trump or that Jr. would take a crap without his heinous father’s permission. So, it sounds like the orange fart cloud is betting that Stone and Don Jr. won’t rat him out, even if the feds can charge them with felonies to apply pressure to turn them.

Manhattan Mussolini’s bet seems solid to me. Stone is a partisan fanatic who has Richard Nixon’s face tattooed on his ass, and Don Jr. is a pathetic, chinless nonentity whose only source of self esteem seems to be his horrible father’s approval. As henchmen go, those two seem about as all-in as it gets, despite being a pair of coddled twits.

So, the question is, is there other evidence that contradicts these claims, evidence that wouldn’t require testimony from Stone or Jr.? Since super-genius Paul Manafort was unknowingly storing evidence of his dirty deeds in iCloud, maybe. Or maybe Trump lied in response to some other question Mueller put to him, one that can be contradicted by evidence or the testimony of less reliable toadies.

One thing we know for sure, though — Trump lied to Mueller. It was inevitable. He lies all the time. Perhaps we’ll eventually see a grilling in which various permutations of the phrase “I can’t recall” get employed over and over. At least Trump is practiced at that from his Trump U fraud testimony.

No Water Wings in Sight (Open Thread)

Trump acting out on Twitter like an unhinged 12-year-old whose parents have banned Fortnite is no longer noteworthy. But this morning, he seems especially out in the deep end sans a pool noodle, so I thought I’d mention it. Some of his output is standard fare in this degraded era, such as this foam-flecked whine about the Mueller investigation:

While the disgusting Fake News is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief. This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!

The “3 major players” would be Stone, Corsi and Manafort, I guess? Good Lord, how sweet it would be to see that trio shuffling off to prison in leg irons. I’ve never been a big believer is Mueller Claus, but Trump’s obvious desperation has me listening for reindeer hooves on the rooftop!

Trump also retweeted this image from one of the crackpot sycophants who god-bless his every crazed tweet:

Of course, it’s normal in our degraded age for the president to demand prosecution of his political enemies like a tinpot dictator. But Rod Rosenstein — current Republican Deputy AG of the USA appointed by the Trump admin and an alum (along with Brett Kavanaugh) of the Starr investigation is depicted in that cell. That seems to cross a new line, I dunno.

I have no idea what’s happening with the Mueller investigation, but knowledgeable folks who follow it closely seem to think something’s about to explode. And Twitler, perhaps through insights gleaned via the partisan hack he (illegally) passed over Rosenstein to set in supervision of Mueller, seems to think so too.

Open thread!

Someone sounds nervous…

Twitler this morning:

The White House is running very smoothly and the results for our Nation are obviously very good. We are the envy of the world. But anytime I even think about making changes, the FAKE NEWS MEDIA goes crazy, always seeking to make us look as bad as possible! Very dishonest!

The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our Nation and don’t…

….care how many lives the [sic] ruin. These are Angry People, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years. They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!

I try really hard not to get my hopes up about the Mueller investigation, but outbursts like this make that challenging.

PS: I’ve decided to stop embedding the idiot’s tweets, mostly because they include a portrait of his ugly face, but here’s a link to where this batch starts.