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Wed Feb 15, 2017, 04:12 PM

Why Trump Can't Come Clean on Russia

The saying "it's not the crime, it's the cover-up" may not apply here.

There is an old chestnut that gets tossed out whenever a scandal hits: It's not the crime, it's the cover-up. The saying traces back to Watergate. Sen. Howard Baker, the top Republican on the Senate Watergate committee, once noted, "It is almost always the cover-up rather than the event that causes trouble." This week, following the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, NBC News' Chuck Todd was one of many who quipped, "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up." And that was certainly a significant element of the Flynn imbroglio: Flynn had lied about his December conversation with the Russian ambassador, concealing the fact that they had discussed the sanctions President Barack Obama had just levied on Russia as punishment for its covert efforts to swing the 2016 election to Trump. But in this case the bigger scandal at hand is not a cover-up. It is the thing itself: the connections between the Trump camp and Moscow during the campaign, when Vladimir Putin was trying to subvert American democracy.

< Read much more here >

On Tuesday, I bumped into a prominent Republican consultant, and he said that Trump had to "get out in front of" the burgeoning scandal and disclose all the facts because "the cover-up is always worse." The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza offered similar advice to the president on Wednesday morning: "What is really needed at this point is a full and complete debrief for the American people from Trump himself. Why was his campaign in 'constant' contact with Russian officials? Who in the campaign—or the broader Trump organization—was involved? Are they still with the campaign or the business? What was discussed on these calls?...Why is Trump so reluctant to condemn Russia and Vladimir Putin in particular?"

But the cover-up here may not be worse than the actions being covered up.

At a minimum, it seems that Trump associates—at least Flynn—were secretly interacting with the Putin regime as it was plotting to subvert American democracy to help Trump win the White House. A key question is obvious: What did they discuss? The darkest possibility is that they talked about the Kremlin assault on the US election. Short of that, might Flynn or others have encouraged Putin's clandestine operation by signaling that Moscow would have an easier time with a Trump administration than with a Clinton administration? Were there any winks or nods? After all, in late July, Trump called on Russia to hack Clinton. Whatever was discussed, any Trump associate who spoke with Russian officials during the summer or fall of the campaign had reason to know that he or she was interacting with a member of a regime that was actively attempting to undermine the election in a manner beneficial to Trump.

< much more excellent analysis here >

Another famous line is this: You can't handle the truth. Further revelations about contacts between the Trump camp and Russia could pose an existential threat to the Trump White House. The clear choice for him and his gang is to deny, to stonewall, to distract, to lie. Trump doesn't explain the pre-election contacts; he complains about leaks. He casts all interest in this controversy as merely the revenge of the Clinton losers. He calls reporting on the Russia connection "fake news" and slams journalists pursuing the Flynn story as "fake media." This is not shocking. He might not be able to survive a full accounting. The poison of the cover-up may be less deadly than the poison of the event itself. Only Trump and the people involved can know for sure. But investigations of the Russian contacts now being conducted by the FBI and the congressional intelligence committees—if they are mounted effectively and yield public results—may eventually allow us to see the full calculation. In the meantime, the public can justifiably conclude that when it comes to Trump-Russia connections during the campaign, the Trump team has been covering up for very good reasons.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/donald-trump-cant-come-clean-on-russia-michael-flynn

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Reply Why Trump Can't Come Clean on Russia (Original post)
herding cats Feb 2017 OP
No Vested Interest Feb 2017 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2017 #2
Wellstone ruled Feb 2017 #3
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2017 #4
FreeStateDemocrat Feb 2017 #5

Response to herding cats (Original post)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 04:17 PM

1. Liars get so tangled up in their lies, they don't even know what the truth is anymore.

I suspect Trump wouldn't be able to coherently address the chain of events around his Russian misadventures.


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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 04:24 PM

2. This is a great read; thank you! n/t

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 04:28 PM

3. The Trump Corporation is for the most

part Bankrupt. If you follow the financial news sites,you see that his so called Empire is under water to the point,Goldman-Sachs issued a Traunch Debt Bonds worth 1.5 billion of Trumps Debt obligations.

Also,MI6 reported several Billions of Russian funds borrowed via Deuche Bank,now the Russian Mafia wants their acsess to US Governmental perks.

Hunch says,someone will spill the beans on the Rosneft Deal cut to a special cut out in Qater.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 04:31 PM

4. In this case that appears to be true.

As for Watergate, the crime itself - breaking into DNC headquarters and trying to plant a phone tap - was, if not exactly minor, not earth-shattering. However, the "burglars" had WH connections, and eventually it came out that Nixon had knowledge of the break-in and of the money being exchanged and laundered in relation to it. Those connections were what Nixon was trying so hard to cover up.

What Trump et al. might be trying to cover up, in contrast, could be extremely serious - maybe even espionage. People went to prison after Watergate, but mostly for relatively short sentences (Liddy got the longest sentence - 20 years, later reduced to 8, served 4-1/2). If what we suspect is the truth about Trump and Russia comes out, somebody or somebodies could be in the slammer for a very long time, like forever. Maybe SCROTUS will finally be wearing an outfit the same color as his skin.

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Response to herding cats (Original post)

Wed Feb 15, 2017, 04:39 PM

5. Ultimate distraction - terror attack and/or start a war, so all this makes for compelling TV. You

 

know how asswipe loves his ratings real or imagined, fake or true, it is all about him. M$M loves him since he fills the entire 24 news cycle now, drama, drama, drama and that is why M$M worked so hard to get him elected.

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