Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump Jr. met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-connected lawyer promising compromising information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. But back in January, Mike Pence vehemently denied that Trump campaign members had any contact with Russian officials.
“Did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?” John Dickerson of “Face the Nation” asked the vice president-elect on January 15.
“Oh, of course not,” Pence responded. “And I think to suggest that is to give—to give credence—to some of these… bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy and the fact that a few news organizations—not this one—actually trafficked in a memo that was produced as opposition research and associated that with intelligence efforts, I think could only be attributed to media bias.”
In the same interview, Pence also defended incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn, who he said “did not discuss [with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak] anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”
Flynn resigned less than a month later.
Watch the full interview:
Donald Trump and the Republican Party hate America: It’s time to say it out loud
For most of modern political history, the Republican Party has used patriotism — an odd and obfuscating sentimentality — as a weapon to shame critics of American foreign policy, and turn the general public against dissidents who reject the folly of Empire maintenance through violence. Samuel Johnson’s excoriation — made famous by Bob Dylan — that “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels” always seemed accurate in both its denunciation of the manipulative emotion itself, and also of those who take advantage of it for political expediency.
America has collapsed into a prone position, however, where the scoundrels are so brazen in their inhumanity, so bold in their indifference to suffering, and so barbaric in their refusal to compromise for the sake of their own country that only their own language can aptly describe them.
Does anyone understand the 2020 race? This scholar nailed the blue wave — here’s her forecast
In July 2018, the most widely respected analysts were decidedly uncertain whether the Democrats could retake the House. On July 6, Cook Political Report, for example, listed 180 seats as "solid" for Democrats, with 12 likely/lean and 3 "toss-up or worse." If the Democrats won all of those and the 22 GOP-held seats described as "toss-ups" — they'd still be one seat short of a majority, at 217.
This article first appeared in Salon.
It’s not Democrats who are making guns a political issue: It’s all the dead bodies
We can’t keep up. We can’t keep up with the lies, we can’t keep up with the racism, we can’t keep up with the anti-immigrant hysteria, we can’t keep up with the firings and resignations, we can’t keep up with the flat-out lunacy, but most of all, we can’t keep up with the dead bodies.
In a single week, between Sunday, July 28, and Saturday, Aug. 3, there were three separate mass shootings in this country. In Gilroy, California, at a popular garlic festival, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AK-47 style assault rifle, killed three people and wounded 13. Two of the dead and several of the wounded were children. The shooter had six high-capacity magazines in his possession: one was a drum magazine holding 75 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, and the other five held 40 rounds. He had bought the AK-47 and ammunition just three weeks before he opened fire on the festival goers.