Russia scandal has Trump and his team freaked out!
Trump shill Kellyanne Conway had a yuuuuge meltdown on CNN this morning…
CNN host Alisyn Camerota pressed Conway on what the Trump administration was doing to prevent Russia from interfering with future elections.
“Alisyn, I realize we just like to say the word ‘Russia, Russia’ to mislead the voters,” Conway replied. “And I know that CNN is aiding and abetting this nonsense as well, but you’ve asked me this question three times now.
“And you’re not answering it, Kellyanne!” an exasperated Camerota shot back.
Meanwhile, Trump continued to lash out like a guilty man over investigations into his presidential campaign’s collusion with Russian operatives – but in a more measured (rehearsed?) manner within the friendly territory of “Fox & Friends”:
President Donald Trump complained that special counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey are “good friends.”
“He’s very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome, but he’s also — we’re gonna have to see,” Trump said when asked if he is going to fire Mueller in an excerpt published Thursday evening.
The President claimed that “the people” hired by Mueller to work on the Russia probe “are Hillary Clinton supporters.”
“The whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said.
“Robert Mueller is an honorable man, and hopefully he’ll come up with an honorable solution,” he then added.
Those last words were surprisingly measured when compared with the stream of unhinged tweets Trump has spewed in recent weeks. As Max Boot points out in Foreign Policy, Trump has good reason to be scared:
Trump has even more cause for concern because, like previous investigations, this one won’t be narrowly limited. Recall that the Whitewater independent counsel began by probing an Arkansas land deal and wound up nailing Bill Clinton for lying under oath about his sex life. To get the truth about Kremlingate, Mueller will need to investigate any possible financial ties between Trump, his associates, and Russia — and that, in turn, will lead Mueller to probe just about every financial transaction in which Trump and his cronies have been involved.
The Washington Post reported that investigators are “looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates,” while the New York Times wrote: “A former senior official said Mr. Mueller’s investigation was looking at money laundering by Trump associates. The suspicion is that any cooperation with Russian officials would most likely have been in exchange for some kind of financial payoff, and that there would have been an effort to hide the payments, probably by routing them through offshore banking centers.”
Did someone say money laundering? For some strange reason that reminded me of this NBC News report that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, “was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, dating back to 2007,” and that “At least one of those companies was used to receive millions of dollars from a billionaire Putin ally.”
Of course Trump would be exceedingly lucky if the investigation were limited only to the finances of Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and other former aides from whom he will try to distance himself. He will have a harder time disowning Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and White House aide, who is undoubtedly being probed for his meeting with Sergey Gorkov, a former Russian intelligence officer and Putin associate who runs Russia’s bank for development and foreign economic affairs. Vnesheconombank has been sanctioned by the Treasury Department on several occasions since 2014.
Worst of all for Trump, the investigation is likely to shine a spotlight on his own dubious business practices. In March, for example, USA Today wrote that “the president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering.”
Good point. If a probe threatened to tear down my presidency, my business, and my family, I’d be a tad freaked out.