As the Mueller investigation has moved along, names like Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen have moved to center stage.
On Friday, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow went back to the start of the saga, when Donald Trump staffers like Michael Flynn and his aide K. T. McFarland were the focus of investigation and speculation.
“The big question about Flynn—and this has been raised over and over again by critics of the Mueller investigation—why did Mike Flynn lie about this?” Maddow asked. “There’s always been something hard to figure out about the Flynn case… why did Mike Flynn lie about this stuff?”
Flynn was fired from his job as national security adviser after he apparently lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his communication with Russian officials. But this was far from his only lie, Maddow said.
“Mike Flynn also lied about those conversations he had with Russia talking about sanctions,” she said. “He lied in public. He lied to reporters. He lied to the FBI. Why were they lying about it? I mean, on its face, they didn’t need to. It would make sense that they’d be talking about sanctions to the Russian government conceivably. They’re the top two security officials in the National Security Agency for the incoming administration. Obviously there is going to be a change on the policy. It’s not that weird. But they lied about it.”
Because Flynn and McFarland lied, Maddow said, “they were both compromised by Russia from the very beginning.”
“Because, of course, Russia knew the truth, right?” she said. “Russia was on the other end of the phone. They knew that these guys had been having conversations about Russia, right? It wasn’t secret from Russia. But it was being kept secret from the American public, the American press, the American Congress, and even the FBI.”
At this point, Maddow circled back to the Trump Tower Moscow project, which Cohen and others lied about—and which came to an abrupt halt on the very same day that it was revealed Russian hackers were seeking to influence the election.
“The story about Russian government hackers being exposed for their role in trying to get into our elections—that was the reason they stopped working on the Trump Tower project that day. The secret project they’d been working on for many, many, many months including direct contact with the Kremlin and planned travel to Moscow stopped that day. Why? What was the connection between those two things?” Maddow asked.
“If the big picture Russian dream here is to have their very own president of the U.S.A., if their dream is to compromise an American presidential candidate so that candidate is beholden to them and then install that compromised candidate as president, then the Trump Tower Moscow project which compromises Trump and the election interference campaign [ruins it],” she said. “Install the candidate, and then leverage the candidate to lift sanctions and free Russia to do what it wants. Now, over this past week, we suddenly can see the full plan.”
Watch the segments below.
Trump asked right-wing conspiracy theorist congressman to help him pick his next Director of National Intelligence
On Monday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump is consulting with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) about who he should consider to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Nunes has led the Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee since 2015 and chaired the committee for four years, despite having no professional qualifications of any kind for that role. Since 2017, he has been known for his stunts and conspiracy theories intended to discredit the Russia investigation and throw suspicion on anyone who looks into Trump's conduct.
Conservative newspaper hilariously trolls Trump about his failure to build any new border wall
The conservative Washington Examiner trolled President Donald Trump for his failure to construct any new border barricade during his 30 months in office.
On Monday, Trump lashed out at the media on Twitter for not giving him positive coverage for his wall, which he erroneously claimed would be paid for by Mexico.
The Examiner replied to Trump on Twitter, posting an article headlined, "Trump has not built a single mile of new border fence after 30 months in office."
Here’s how a new study implies the Supreme Court has killed 16,000 people since 2012
A new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looked into the effects of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion to people below 138 percent of the poverty line, which has seen nearly 15 million people enrolled in participating states. The results were encouraging: the mortality rate for near-elderly adults has dropped over 9 percent in the four years for which data is available.
But while this is cause for celebration, The Atlantic staff writer Annie Lowrey offered a darker take on the implications of these numbers: