MSNBC contributor John Podhoretz agrees new evidence has emerged to suggest a link between Russian intelligence and President Donald Trump — but he said there’s still no smoking gun.
The conservative commentator said evidence showed Trump parroted Russian propaganda themes during the 2016 presidential campaign, although there’s still no direct link between the Republican candidate and Kremlin intelligence.
“The information we’ve got last week (is) the first substantive narrative that suggests that something that started with Russian intelligence ended up coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth,” Podhoretz told “Morning Joe.”
Trump associates Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi promoted themes that came out of emails stolen by Russian hackers, and the GOP nominee amplified those efforts on the campaign trail in the final weeks before the election.
“Now, that doesn’t mean, again, that Trump himself knew that the information had been gotten through the hacking of the DNC emails,” Podhoretz said. “But it is, after all this time, a pathway between Trump through Stone to Russian intelligence.”
Podhoretz said the standard of proof needed to sway Trump’s strongest supporters was impossibly high.
“I think any absence of an actual, you know, smoking gun charge that Trump was working in the service of Russian intelligence, the Trump base will believe this is a political witch hunt and that (Robert) Mueller is serving, you know, sort of the interests of the media, the interests of liberals,” he said.
“There’s some sense of which, assuming that Mueller cannot close the circle,” Podhoretz added, “what you’ll have is a pattern of everyone around him being nailed in some fashion for lying, for saying the wrong thing, for lying about the contacts with Russia, but Trump saying they are saying, I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do it. I had no part in this.’ And without proof, you know, that is reasonable doubt, in my view.”
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."