Thursday, July 20, 2017

Everything You Need to Understand About Trump and Russia

By ANDREW ROSENTHAL


Donald Trump apparently wanted to set the record straight on the Kremlin Kaper in the strange interview he gave this week to The New York Times. Thank goodness for that, because the story line was getting hard to follow.

Here’s where things stand.

First, everything is fine because nothing happened between Trump and the Kremlin. And if anything did happen, no one should care and the only people who do are liberals whining about the election results. (Don’t get distracted by the fact that the main person still trying to reargue the vote tally is 

Trump himself. That’s the kind of thing that liberals toss in to muddy the waters.)

Trump and his people never spoke to any Russians, and if they did, they either forgot about it or innocently failed to mention it because it was just normal socializing. And if it wasn’t just socializing, then there was no discussion of the campaign, and if there was discussion of the campaign, it was perfectly appropriate.
By now, you should be convinced that there was nothing to investigate about Russia. And if there was, Trump wasn’t being investigated personally.

It may seem like Trump picked Jeff Sessions as attorney general at least partly to run interference on the non-investigation of the non-collusion. But move along; there’s nothing to see here either. After all, what’s the point of even having an attorney general if he can’t shut down investigations of your actions?

In fact, the president suggested that the crafty Sessions hoodwinked him into giving him the top legal job in the first place. If he had known Sessions would recuse himself on the Russia thing (which didn’t actually happen or Trump didn’t know about), then Trump would never have done that.

Got everything so far?

In the interview, Trump said Sessions was being “very unfair to the president,” which surprised the rest of us, who thought Senator Jeff had been basically the biggest toady around. (Chris Christie gave him a run for the money before the New Jersey governor slunk away from presidential politics so he could spend more time with his family on beaches he had closed to the public.)

Trump told The Times peevishly that Sessions’ recusal stuck him “with a second man,” Rod Rosenstein, adding helpfully that the second man is called “a deputy.” Then he claimed Sessions hardly knew Rosenstein, who Trump said derisively was “from Baltimore.”

That’s a Democratic city, explained Trump, who is from New York, a Democratic city.

Despite the visible tire treads on his body from the wheels of the Trump bus, Sessions said Thursday that he will stay on as long as it’s appropriate. To whom? The president already thinks it’s not appropriate and has vaguely threatened to fire more people if the probe goes into his personal finances, which it kind of has to.

I don’t think Sessions should have been made attorney general — for other reasons. But he should stay on and let Trump fire him. Of course, if Trump does that, then his soldiers of disinformation will probably explain that, well, gee, the president didn’t know you’re not supposed to do that.

It’s truly disturbing how often we hear that lame spin from this White House: Trump and his team are not evil or criminal or corrupt. They are merely ignorant and poorly informed and innocent of Washington’s arcane ways. That is why they have trouble making moral judgments that most children could make.


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