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Hullabaloo


Friday, July 27, 2018

 

The week that was

by Tom Sullivan

And the week ain't over yet.

Trump-Russia news roared in like a California wildfire last night. News broke from CNN that former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen is prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew in advance about his campaign's infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian emissaries offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. "Sources" say. CNN did not elaborate. NBC News followed up, saying its reporters had confirmed the story via "a knowledgeable source." Also unnamed.

CNN reported:

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.

To be clear, these sources said Cohen does not have evidence, such as audio recordings, to corroborate his claim, but he is willing to attest to his account.
The credibility of the news source or sources has yet to be verified. One item to note, however. The byline on the original CNN report includes Carl Bernstein.

The rest of the night was pundits and panels chomping on what it meant for Trump and the Mueller investigation. Lanny Davis, one of Cohen's lawyers, declined to comment. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, told CNN, “I expected something like this from Cohen—he’s been lying all week, he’s been lying for years.” Cohen, who Giuliani described in May as "an honest, honorable lawyer," has no credibility, Giuliani argued. Former U.S. attorney Andy McCarthy argued on Fox News, "Look, I don't think that it's bad if campaigns are turning to foreign governments for dirt. It's not collusion. It's not something that's impeachable; it's icky, but that's what this is."

The ever-shifting Trump Tower story line has arrived at the final fallback, Josh Marshall replied: "Collusion is awesome."

It was a dizzying 24 hours worth of news Adele Stan summarized in over a dozen tweets. In addition to the CNN scoop, here are a few: One missing story is this minor development:
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Several of the remarks came as Mr. Trump was also privately pressuring the men — both key witnesses in the inquiry — about the investigation, and Mr. Mueller is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.
In his morning tweets on the Cohen story from CNN, the sitting president denies everything.

Hold on tight for the Friday night news dump.

* * * * * * * * *

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