Ever since the release of the bombshell Steele dossier, reporters have been working to sort out how much of it is true.
The document alleges that Donald Trump was blackmailed into becoming close with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and ultimately accepted election help from a hostile foreign power.
We now know that Trump was very much susceptible to blackmail—whether by the Russians or someone else.
“Blackmail is at the center of the Steele dossier,” said host Chris Hayes.
Hayes then pointed to the New York Times reports on Trump’s relations with National Enquirer publisher David E. Pecker: “The idea of that is not at all far-fetched—in fact, it already exists.”
Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic agreed Trump was very much susceptible to blackmail.
“This is potentially the most blackmail-able president in United States’ history,” she said. “The fact that the National Enquirer had decades of information about his affairs, his children, about even Melania, speaks volumes about the president’s life and all of the shady things he did throughout his career—many of which, most of which, perhaps all of which—he never faced real consequences for.”
Bertrand said that what what we know about the relations between Pecker and Trump substantiate two key parts of the dossier.
“This substantiates two big claims in the dossier,” she said. “The first , of course, is that Michael Cohen was President Trump’s fixer in all things related to Russia. Just as he was the fixer in relation to burying stories about Trump’s extramarital affairs, he was also, according to the dossier, his fixer in burying the story of the Trump campaign’s conspiracy with Russia to win the election. He was alleged to have paid off the hackers and to have kinda cleaned the whole thing up after the election.”
The second part? Trump’s reluctance to discuss his alleged sexual activities following his marriage to Melania.
“Trump is a little bit more skittish about his extramarital affairs becoming public than a lot of us have been led to believe,” she said. “There’s always this theory that perhaps the president wouldn’t care if news came out that prostitutes peed on a bed in Moscow because he hated President Obama and wanted to defile the bed he slept on… Now we know that Trump has gone to great lengths to hide these details of his personal life, and it really makes you wonder that if those salacious details in that dossier are true, what lengths have the president gone to to keep the Russians from exposing them?”
WATCH: CNN’s Don Lemon bursts out laughing over Trump’s new wall in Colorado
CNN's Don Lemon typically deals with difficult and intense topics at the top of his weekly show. Wednesday night, however, after a serious opener about Syria and ISIS, Lemon broke into hysterics over President Donald Trump's flub saying he would build a border wall on Colorado's border.
"You know why we're going to win New Mexico? Because they want safety on our border. And they didn't have it," said Trump. "And we're building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we're building a wall in Colorado. We're building a beautiful wall, a big one that really works — you can't get over, you can't get under. And we're building a wall in Texas. And we're not building a wall in Kansas, but they get the benefit of the walls that we just mentioned. And Louisiana's incredible."
Rachel Maddow explains how Mike Pence got thrown into the impeachment scandal by Trump’s lawyers
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow noted that Vice President Mike Pence got thrown into the impeachment scandal by President Donald Trump's own lawyers.
In a bizarre comment in court a few weeks ago, has been revealed with the release of documents. Unfortunately for Pence, it happened again. Trump's lawyers debated with judges and opposing counsel whether Trump could, in fact, shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and be prosecuted. The president's lawyers argued that not only could they not prosecute him, but they also couldn't stop him either.
But it was a key part of their argument that indicated Pence wasn't all that important.
Trump refusing to pay for New Mexico security and barricades — while trying to change the state from blue to red
President Donald Trump thinks he will win New Mexico. He's repeated the factoid multiple times, including to a group of oil and gas workers and executives Wednesday at a conference in Pittsburgh, PA. But he also made two significant mistakes to put that support in jeopardy.
First, the president indicated he was building his "wall" on the border of Colorado, which is north of New Mexico. It would mean that New Mexico was now part of Mexico.
Second, it was reported by the Albuquerque Journal that their city is yet another one Trump's campaign is refusing to pay for security costs.