A report from Axios that President Donald Trump is offering to personally fund the legal defense of some current and former White House aides drew a stunned response from an MSNBC panel, with one panelist calling the suspicious move “potentially an admission of guilt.”
Saturday afternoon it was reported that Trump would dip into his personal bank account to pay the legal fees of White House staffers who have been drawn into federal investigations into the Trump administration and presidential campaign.
Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell cut right to the chase wondering what Trump’s motivation might be to shell out big bucks to staffers who may be testifying against him.
“I would wonder what his motivations are” she explained. “Maybe he feels guilty that his associates and aides are now having to bear the burdens of these bills. Whether or not it’s his motivation, this would be a very effective way to keep them in line and keep them in hock to him.”
‘If he doesn’t want people who know where the bodies are buried — if there’s bodies — to flip on him and disclose that information to [special counsel] Mueller, offering to pay legal bills is an effective way to keep pulling the strings,” she added.
Erin McPike from the Independent Review Journal what more blunt, saying the deal has a bad smell to it.
“One of the things we know about Donald Trump is that he really likes to throw money at the problem, whatever the problem is,” she explained. “He often does that and he also throws money around to curry influence as he did throughout the campaign and said he was going to donate some of his campaign funds to veterans groups.”
‘He really seems to like to do that a lot,” she remarked. “I’d also point out this could potentially be some kind of admission of guilt on some level, even if Trump himself didn’t know what was going on in the campaign, should there have been collusion. It just all smells kind of funny.”
No other panelist could recall a sitting president offering to pay legal bills of aides when their own White House was under investigation.
You can watch the video below via MSNBC:
Former four-star general speculates whistleblower scandal could involve Trump giving Putin an American
It remains unclear exactly what were the issues cited by the whistleblower who expressed concern at actions of President Donald Trump as a threat to national security, at least one of which involved a promise the president allegedly made in a phone call with a foreign leader.
But former Gen. Barry McCaffrey had a chilling thought about what it could possibly be — and posted his speculation on Twitter:
SHEER SPECULATION. Is it possible that the WHISTLEBLOWER issue was Trump discussing with Putin handing over our former US Ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul to Russian authorities? https://t.co/0PnQn0upiA
House Judiciary Committee considering vote to hold Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress: report
On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that the House Judiciary Committee is considering a vote to hold President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress, after a lengthy hearing on Wednesday in which Lewandowski aggressively attacked members of the committee and admitted that he routinely lies to media outlets.
This development comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told members of her caucus that she supports holding Lewandowski in contempt.
‘This person has to be very senior’: Ambassador McFaul breaks down two possible whistleblower motivations
America's former ambassador to Russia on Thursday broke down what we know about the whistleblower alleging wrongdoing by President Donald Trump.
Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber on "The Beat."
"In my understanding, have -- having worked closely with the intelligence community, when I was in the government -- nobody that I know would go to these steps unless there was something really serious. This is not about the inappropriate use of classified material," McFaul noted. "It’s something much bigger."
"We’re talking about someone who is at a senior enough level to have this level of access, who knows the rules and knows they can lose their job or worse," Melber noted.