This was a very bad week for defenders of President Donald Trump’s blamelessness in the Russian plot to attack the 2016 presidential election. Not only is the president facing new — and impeachment-worthy — allegations that he instructed his Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a proposed real estate project in Moscow, his attorney Rudy Giuliani made an astonishing about-face from his months-long refrain in a CNN interview on Wednesday, now claiming that he never said there was no collusion with Russia in the Trump campaign, only that Trump himself wasn’t involved in it:
“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign… I have not. I said the President of the United States,” Pres. Trump’s attorney @RudyGiuliani tells @ChrisCuomo https://t.co/Jy0gttT6Ac pic.twitter.com/JGISmtgrdy
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) January 17, 2019
This is a lie, of course. Both Giuliani and Trump have repeatedly said there was no collusion, period. Indeed, Giuliani seemed to walk back his statement later, saying he wasn’t aware of any collusion by anyone else either. But Giuliani’s change in strategy was not lost on former federal prosecutors Mimi Rocah and Joyce Vance in an editorial for NBC News, analyzing Giuliani’s legal flip-flop.
“Let’s be clear, Giuliani’s conversation with Cuomo does not represent a subtle, nuanced shift in position. This is an admission by the president’s lawyer that when the president said ‘no collusion’ and when he himself claimed there was no collusion by anyone, let alone “the top four or five people in the campaign,” they were not telling the truth,” write Rocah and Vance. “Of course, if the position had always been that maybe there was collusion, but Trump wasn’t involved, the response to the special counsel’s investigation would have been to fully cooperate. Any rational leader in this position would want to know who the bad actors were in his or her campaign. But that was not the response, because that has not been the position — until now.”
Why did Giuliani essentially admit he and his boss had been lying the whole time? Rocah and Vance have a theory.
“Giuliani is technically Trump’s lawyer,” they write. “But the strategy he has been running since he joined the team in April 2018 is a political one, not a legal one. None of what he does is meant to convince a judge or a jury. It is meant to confuse the issues, to inoculate people against shocking news before it arrives, and to retain the president’s good standing with his base. This is important because if the new Democratic House decides to file articles of impeachment against the president, Trump needs to have enough support among Republicans to ensure his majority in the Senate will hold. Giuliani has been moving the goal posts to accommodate the facts, always giving the president a retrenched argument.”
This is, they write, not generally a good strategy from a legal perspective. But it might be the only one that suits Trump.
“One of the only things that Giuliani has been consistently good at is getting out ahead of bad facts before they surface in the press or in pleadings,” they continue. “When there is bad news coming, Giuliani blurts it out, the public gawks, and the shock is absorbed in advance. Giuliani, with his theatrics, socializes bad news so well that by the time it drops, most people are numb to it.”
“In the face of mounting evidence that there was collusion between members of the campaign and Russians, Giuliani has doubled down on his strategy of distract, shock and confuse,” Rocah and Vance conclude. “But the position that he has staked out — that Trump was unaware of what others might have done — won’t get him very far with anyone who is paying attention.”
The obvious question then will be — is the country paying attention?
Fox News is so obsessed with Ocasio-Cortez they said her name three times as much as CNN or MSNBC
It's clear that Fox News and other right-wing reporters are trying to create boogymen in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A new analysis by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter, revealed that the conservative network has said Ocasio-Cortez's name more than CNN and MSNBC combined.
"First, Ocasio-Cortez and her "Squad" mate Ilhan Omar have been talked about a lot more on Fox than on other cable news channels this year," Stelter wrote. "Second, the freshmen have been getting more attention on cable than seasoned leaders of the Democratic Party."
CNN’s Santorum gets his butt handed to him by fellow conservative over defense of Trump’s ‘disgusting’ racism
CNN contributor Rick Santorum ran into some fierce resistance on Sunday morning when he attempted to defend the explicit racism in Donald Trump's tweets at Democratic lawmakers -- with the only other conservative on the panel blowing up on him.
Speaking with fill-in host Dana Bash, the former GOP Senator from Pennsylvania was right away on the defensive when asked about the president's tweets and the resulting "send her back" chant at a rally in North Carolina.
"He says things to bring attention to these issues and I know it's hair on fire time for everyone on the left," Santorum offered in Trump's defense, which brought a sharp comeback from fellow conservative CNN commentator S.E. Cupp.
Trump busted for doubling down on his racist rants before Mueller speaks: ‘He’s scared’
Appearing on CNN's "New Day," a former adviser to Bill Clinton said that he expects ex-special counsel Robert Mueller to make a some blunt statements about President Donald Trump in his upcoming appearance before a Congressional committee that will cause voters to turn on the president.
According to Guy Smith, who advised former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment ordeal, Mueller's own words will carry tremendous weight with voters who have no idea what is in his report on the president.
"Well, what we're going to see is people who have never read the report, which is most everybody, and they have only heard President Trump and the attorney general say he's been exonerated. It does not," he told host Christi Paul. "So, what's going to happen is that they're going to be hearing Robert Mueller in his own words say that the president obstructed justice. The American people have not read this thing."