Democratic strategist Paul Begala encouraged President Donald Trump to stop talking to his friends that are under “scrutiny” by the FBI.
It was revealed Thursday that his son-in-law Jared Kushner is being investigated for conversations as part of the investigation into possible Russian collusion. While Kushner is not yet considered a suspect nor has he been charged, CNN’s David Gergen noted this news Kushner is under increased scrutiny will “enrage” Trump. This is the closest the investigation has come to the president himself.
“The president needs to do two things: lawyer up and shut up,” Begala said. “The problem when you’re in one of these things, though, is he’s radioactive now. Everybody — if he’s in a meeting and he’s talking about the biggest political news of the day, he’s making a mistake.”
Begala said even writing a memo to Kushner can be a problem at this point because he’ll be under increased inspection.
CNN’s justice correspondent Evan Pérez recalled that this has been a “reoccurring problem” for the new president, who has stayed in close contact with former aides Paul Manafort, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, despite ties to Russia.
“We know he’s talked to — after he’s known about the FBI investigation, he’s been talking to Paul Manafort, he’s talked to Roger Stone,” Pérez said. “So, that’s repeatedly a problem. Apparently, at least the president doesn’t quite understand that he’s not supposed to be talking to people who are subjects of an FBI investigation.”
“Don’t lie, Jared, don’t lie,” Begala later said directly into the cameras. “They’ll catch ya. Bob Muller is the most thorough investigator in America, he will know everything about this he has the entire apparatus of the FBI at his disposal. He will catch you.”
Gergen agreed that Kushner is “radioactive” and suggested that perhaps Kushner might take a leave of absence. Begala agreed, saying Kushner shouldn’t talk to any staffers much less the president about it.
“I don’t have enough confidence in Donald Trump to keep his stupid mouth shut and not obstruct justice or tamper with evidence when this is his son-in-law,” Begala continued.
Senior Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis noted that day after day the news seems to “one-up” itself with a larger and larger scandal. He explained that Trump can’t take many more news days where scandals continue to get larger.