Thursday, January 17, 2019


Photo by AFP/Getty via Daily Mail.

Oh my ears and whiskers, Giuliani:
"I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign," Giuliani told CNN's Chris Cuomo, who immediately pushed back on that point.
"I have not," Giuliani said in doubling-down on his first remark. "I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC."
When Cuomo pushed back on that line as well, Giuliani said Trump "didn't collude with Russia either!"
Giuliani may not have said "there was no collusion" but his client certainly did, hundreds of times, sometimes four or five times or more in a single day. He says it more often than he says "Believe me." Are we now to understand that there was collusion? Glad to hear it! The Mueller investigation is clearly worthwhile whether or not the president has committed any crimes.

There is certainly no evidence that Trump conspired with Russians to hack the DNC, even though I'm not the only one to have noted that he's approaching 400 pounds and spends a lot of time on a bed. I can't imagine how he could have helped, or even how he could have heard about it until it was well underway, whether from Papadopoulos or Page or Manafort or Junior, between April and 7 June 2016, when he made his announcement,
"I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we're going to be discussing all of the things have taken place with the Clintons," the presumptive Republican nominee said from his Westchester, New York, estate. "And I think you're going to find it very, very interesting."
Which of course never did occur, after the meeting of 9 June got different results than the one he might have been expecting, if his son told him that this meeting was going to take place, perhaps, in one of those phone calls Junior made on 7 June to a blocked number that Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff just promised to check out.

Is joining in the hacking really "the only crime" Trump could have committed? No, reader. He could have taken that phone call on 7 June and greenlighted Junior's plan to enter in a very large-scale conspiracy with the Russian government and the activities they'd been conducting to mess with the 2016 presidential elections, including not just email hacking but also the manipulation of social media and small-ball dirty tricks that we're just starting to learn about

He could have joined in the wider efforts of Russians to weaken the US government and the Western alliance and normalize the Ukraine situation and relieve the Russian state and Putin's own financial situation from sanctions, in return for various kinds of bribes, from all that money that had been "pouring in" from Russia for a few years to specific commitments for a hotel project in Moscow and getting him elected president, which at least some people in his entourage (Felix Sater) thought, wrongly, should be really great for business.

Giuliani's not as dumb or crazy as he seems to have decided to appear. That was some very careful phrasing on the part of somebody who frequently appears to be out of control and remarkably uninformed.  I imagine it was probably aimed more at Trump himself, the #AudienceOfOne who was certainly going to watch, than anybody else, if only to calm him down at this fraught moment and get him to refrain from anything really insane. Trump's the only person of importance who could believe it.

Then again when Rudy sets out to repair the public damage...

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