MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has had much to say this week about Republicans and the vetting process. And having chastised the GOP over domestic violence allegations involving former Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Maddow turned her attention to Vice President Mike Pence and another “vetting disaster” on Wednesday night — taking him to task for failing to vet his former national security advisor, Andrea L. Thompson (now serving as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs).
Maddow noted that Thompson has had close relationships with admitted Russia agent Maria Butina as well as with Butina’s boyfriend, veteran GOP activist Paul Erickson — and that Thompson’s connection to Butina and Erickson was detailed by the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin in a June 19 report.
“The Marina Butina story is just nuts,” Maddow asserted, describing Butina’s connection to Russian government officials and her efforts to infiltrate and influence the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Republican Party in favor of Russia. Maddow, describing Rogin’s Post report, noted that in June 2017, Butina “turned up at the wedding of Mike Pence’s national advisor” — and Erickson “was officiating the wedding.”
In the spring 2018, Maddow recalled, the U.S. Senate held confirmation hearings for Thompson, who had been nominated for undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs. And despite the fact that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was in full swing and Erickson was being investigated for allegedly trying to establish “secret backchannels to the Kremlin,” Maddow explained, Thompson’s connection to Butina and Erickson wasn’t even discussed at the confirmation hearings.
Maddow explained that as part of the position Thompson was nominated for, “you negotiate with Russia. You negotiate with the Russians on arms control treaties. That’s your job.” And Thompson, Maddow added, “never disclosed” to the Senate her ties to Butina or her husband, Wilbert H. Frazier’s Russian ties.
In his Washington Post article, Rogin pointed out, “To be clear, Thompson’s connections with Erickson are not a crime, and Erickson is innocent until proven guilty.”
Butina has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and will be deported back to Russia after serving her time.
Trump lashes out at Pelosi for going to Jordan to fix his Syria flub
President Donald Trump tweeted his anger about Speaker Nancey Pelosi (D-CA) taking a delegation of leaders to Jordan to meet with those working on Syria.
"Pelosi is now leading a delegation of 9, including Corrupt Adam Schiff, to Jordan to check out Syria. She should find out why Obama drew The Red Line In the Sand, & then did NOTHING, losing Syria & all respect. I did something, 58 missiles. One million died under Obama’s mistake!" Trump tweeted Sunday.
Vice President Mike Pence went to Turkey last week to attempt to negotiate a ceasefire, but what he ended up with was 120-hour freeze on bombing Kurds.
WATCH: Mike Pompeo goes dead silent when ABC corners him on Ukraine
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on "This Week" Sunday where he was faced with a question about chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's press conference Thursday.
During the press briefing, Mulvaney, who also serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget, confessed that Trump told him Ukraine corruption issues also had to do with the DNC server.
“That he also mentioned to me that the corruption related to the DNC server, absolutely,” said Mulvaney. “No question about it. That’s it and that’s why we held up the money.”
Pompeo said he wasn't going to answer any questions about hypotheticals, which he said host George Stephanopoulos was asking.
Hillary Clinton posts fake letter from JFK to mock Trump’s absurd one to Turkey
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken up a new hobby of trolling President Donald Trump on Twitter.
The grandmother of three excelled in her sarcasm and stepped up her shade Sunday afternoon by releasing a fake letter from Former President John F. Kennedy to former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
Read the fake letter and see the tweet below:
Dear Premier Khrushchev,
Don't be a d*ck, ok? Get your missiles out of Cuba. Everybody will say 'Yay! Khrushchev! You're the best!' But if you don't everybody will be like 'what an assh*le' and call your garbage country 'The Soviet Bunion.'