The White House altered official records to remove Russian president Vladimir Putin’s preference for President Donald Trump’s election two years ago, and MSNBC’s John Heilemann blasted the omission as “Orwellian.”
The Trump administration also announced after the president’s private Helsinki summit with Putin that no readouts will be released of future discussions with foreign leaders, and the “Morning Joe” contributor said the White House was establishing a troubling pattern.
“There’s no White House logs either, we don’t get to know who comes in and out of the White House,” Heilemann said. “This administration’s, the president’s absolute desire to try to be as anti-transparent as possible has been troubling for a long time. They want to keep things secret, they want to keep us from knowing what the president is doing.”
Trump has assured Americans that he reached favorable agreements with Putin during their private, two-hour meeting, but so far the only details have come from Russian officials.
“We don’t know what happened in that meeting,” Heilemann said. “All of these things consistent with the desire that is to keep the public from knowing what it has a right to know from a president what we’ve historically known.”
That penchant for secrecy was made worse by the administration’s willingness to falsify records that are released, he said.
“What’s worse is this issue with the transcript which is not about a question of lack of transparency, but a question of trying to alter the basic record of what happened,” Heilemann said. “It’s not just this transcript, they’ve altered the video that they put out, which we saw last night on television.”
Live video and videos kept by news organizations show Putin saying he preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but the White House removed that from the official transcript and edited the statement from its video.
“These are faked records,” Heilemann said. “We’re in the realm — like the invocation of Hitler, I’m always hesitant to invoke Orwell, it’s too easily invoked, but this is across the board. It all adds up to a genuinely Orwellian set of circumstances happening in the White House.”
Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst
President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.
Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.
Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”
Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.
Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."
Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.
"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.
"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."
Giuliani henchmen showered Republican with cash — and Trump almost made him ambassador to Ukraine: report
Yet another bombshell report has shed new light on President Donald Trump's suspicious Ukraine policies.
"At the same time that Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted pals were pushing for President Donald Trump to remove Amb. Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine, Trump administration officials were eyeing potential contenders to take over her job. One of the people in the mix, according to three sources familiar with the discussions, was Rep. Pete Sessions, a former Congressman who called for Yovanovitch’s firing," The Daily Beast reported Thursday night. "He is also a longtime ally of the former New York Mayor, and is believed to have taken millions of dollars from Giuliani’s indicted cronies."