MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted Tuesday night that the recent revelations that Donald Trump's campaign admitted to a desire to collude with Russia would end an administration in a normal age. But we no longer live in normal times.
While "the biggest political scandal ever" rages over the Trump White House, she predicts the White House will try to "create a new scandal" in order to "distract from what they have just confessed to."
“They will try to turn the narrative to instead be about Hillary Clinton and her campaign, or to otherwise turn the story inside out,” Maddow predicted. She went on to urge viewers to watch out for Republicans on Capitol Hill to use the appointment of Christopher Wray to head the FBI as a means of launching a "counterattack."
“But at that confirmation hearing [Wednesday], and also at the upcoming Senate hearings on the Russian investigation that we are expecting in the next couple of weeks, watch for Republican Senators to try to mount a counterattack on the main narrative of this scandal,” Maddow foretold.
Step two, according to Maddow, will be a "self-defense of a different kind." She thinks the White House will ultimately play a denial game similar to what they used for former NSC head Michael Flynn. The White House will likely claim that Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort all acted alone and had nothing to do with the now-president.
“There is no way to use the exact same strategy that they did with Mike Flynn on the previous collusion story right?" Maddow asked rhetorically. "There is no way to say that Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. were acting in their personal capacity when they took this meeting."
She said, however, that it is well known this meeting was a campaign meeting. “None of them could be personally on the hook with the campaign being on the hook," she said.
Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak is officially finished with his job and is heading home. He had a big send-off in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Maddow called him "a boss" for the deliverables he's been able to get for Moscow.
Russia wanted to relax sanctions and the White House has been lobbying Capitol Hill to make it happen. Russia wants a larger footprint in the Middle East and they're getting that with their role in Syria, which Secretary Rex Tillerson has said is basically their call. Russia wants to relax adoption restrictions from Russia as part of the Magnitsky Act and Trump Jr. admitted he's been taking meetings on it since June 2016.
Maddow noted that the United States has been the one country to put the most pressure on Russia since the Cold War. As such, the country wants nothing more than a State Department that is "inert." Russia got their wish as the State Department struggles to function with a skeleton staff. Russia also wants their American compounds back and while Trump denies they spoke of it, the Russian government says they did.
"Ultimately, the Russians would like continuous operability and even military operability in the United States, so it would be really good if, even after they displayed flagrantly their ability to infiltrate and operate within our election system it would be awesome for them if we did nothing to retaliate and nothing to stop them from doing more," Maddow continued.
"So we can expect that Ambassador Kislyak is returning to a rousing 'Ata-boy' at the Kremlin. I don't know what his salary is but when he gets home, watch where -- 'Wow! Sergey Kislyak has a fleet of cars! And a lot of really nice vacation houses!'" Maddow exclaimed.
Whatever Americans might think about whether the Trumps helped the Russians, "the administration now is talking about giving them everything we could imagine they want," she closed.
Watch her full assessment below: