Definition – Secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially in order to cheat or deceive others.
Donald Trump says it in almost every public conversation. “No Collusion!” “There was no collusion!” “No Collusion!” We now learn that Trump’s former personal attorney is willing to testify that Donald Trump knew about the infamous “Trump Tower” meeting in June 2016 where Russians came to Trump Tower to meet with Donald Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner to allegedly provide dirt on Hillary Clinton.
All of the attendees of the meeting originally denied the purpose of the meeting and that Donald Trump was aware it was taking place. When news of the meeting broke when the President and Donald Jr were returning from an overseas trip on Air Force One. Donald Trump dictated a letter downplaying the meeting and making a claim it was merely about Russian adoptions.
We now know Donald Trump knew in advance and approved of the Russian meeting, being approached about it by Donald Jr. Donald Trump approved the meeting and is more likely than ever to have been the source of a call Donald Jr took during the meeting from a number marked “Private” which calls from Trump’s cell phone are.
The legal and criminal implications of Trump’s knowledge, approval, and subsequent denials of the meeting are staggering. Donald Jr and Kushner have perjured themselves in testimony before Congressional committees. Manafort, Kushner and Don Jr will have given false testimony in interviews with the FBI. Trump himself will have done the one thing he constantly denied, conspired (colluded) with Russians to get information about Hillary Clinton, and of course, Russia knew.
Russia has always known about Trump’s culpability in at least this instance. They know about his financial ties to Russian oligarchs. His dependence on Russian funding over the years and even his relationship with the Russian mob in New York. This is why Trump bends over everytime Putin is near, and the information is coming out a piece at a time on a daily basis. One claim Trump won’t be able to credibly make any longer is “No collusion!” Because he’s corrupt as hell!
Rudy Guiliani, came out after the story broke calling Michael Cohen “unbelievable” and “a liar.” He never said the story wasn’t true!
President Trump read some words to the press this afternoon. It can’t be called a press conference as no questions were allowed. He read from a script, probably written by someone else to keep his own words from the public.
Trump gave a glowing summary of the last week during which he claimed he raised “hundreds of millions” for NATO and everyone was pleased. He didn’t insult anyone like he did Angela Merkel when she was out of the room. He met with the Prime Minister of Great Britain and they got along famously (Trump tried his best to oust her from the government in a newspaper interview with one of Rupert Murdoch’s papers). The closest he came to telling the truth was when he mentioned he and the Queen of England walked in front of her honor guard. More accurately he stepped in front of the 92-year-old Queen, showing he has no respect for anyone or anything.
He finally came to his closed-door meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming they resolved most of the problems of the world. They jointly stepped in front of press microphones and Trump claimed the Mueller investigation is “a witch hunt,” and of course, “there is no collusion.” Trump let us know Putin “strongly denied” meddling in the US Elections. And that Trump, “didn’t know why they would.”
In today’s “clarification,” Trump tried to say after reviewing the transcript and watching the video, he meant to say he “didn’t know why they wouldn’t.” And added for effect, it’s what you call a double-negative. To believe his new version, we would have to disregard everything he’s both said and failed to say about Putin and Russia since his campaign began. Even when he grudgingly acknowledged Russia did “attempt to meddle” in our elections. He couldn’t help but add, “it could have been others as well.”
When the statement ended, someone shouted three times, “Will you publicly condemn Putin?” Trump thanked everyone for coming and slinked away. It’s increasingly clear, that while Trump is publicly the President, Putin is the man behind the curtain pulling the strings.
Harry T. Upshaw (the T is for Tyrone) is a long time friend of mine. From time to time he would have the occasion to make the following statement, “If you didn’t put your hand on my shoulder while I was doing it… it wasn’t me!” His theory was that no matter the allegation, however strong the proof. If you weren’t an actual eyewitness that got his confirmation at the time that you saw him doing what he was doing, he would deny it. Donald Trump is doing his best imitation of Harry T. Upshaw after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump is still unable to admit that Russians, under the direction of Putin, interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election. Last Friday, his own Justice Department issued 12 more indictments against Russian military officers containing extraordinary detail. It listed the twelve Russian officers by name, down to the level of which computer they used while transmitting funds or creating personas or coordinating with unnamed Americans to influence the results. Trump was briefed in advance about the pending indictments and still went out of his way to call the ongoing Special Counsel Investigation, “a witch hunt.”
Immediately after the press conference in Helsinki where Trump threw his own Intelligence Agencies under the bus, saying he had no reason not to believe Putin’s denials. He also managed to say the words, “No Collusion” several times as if each subsequent repetition made it more believable. Not long afterward, a Russian woman, Maria Butina, was arrested in the United States with a new indictment spelling out her attempts to influence Republicans and funneling money through the National Rifle Association (NRA). The indictment refers to several unnamed Americans and represents the definition of collusion.
Trump’s lies were never credible before, they were just something someone who believed in his agenda could hang their hat on as they ignored his words and deeds. We are now witnessing treason right before our eyes. Back to Harry Upshaw, that defense of his only worked if someone was willing to let it go. The question is, will the American public and in particular, the Republican Congress who thus far has been aiding and abetting, finally put their collective hand on Trump’s shoulder and remove him from office. The other option is to let Russia continue to call the shots.
It’s been well documented that being President of the United States rapidly ages the office holder. The never-ending responsibility, the pressure, loss of sleep. None have escaped the toll that four or eight years as President takes on a person. Barack Obama may have cracked a bit less than his predecessors but the evidence is still clear.
There’s another kind of episode that will take a toll, especially for one ill-suited for the experience. Going to jail. Donald Trump wouldn’t do well in jail. When you realize he thinks of the White House as, “a dump.” He can’t possibly feel good about any of our Federal Prisons. The good news is that it will cost us less to protect him there than at Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, or any of his other estates.
We know from watching celebrities that have preceded him, he’ll be unable to use his orange dye and make-up which allows him to pass for 70 now, (he’s 71). On the positive side for Donald, he’ll probably lose weight by being placed on a strict diet although I don’t picture him making use of the exercise area in “the yard.”
No U.S. President has ever gone to jail before. There is the precedent of Ford pardoning Nixon to prevent that possibility, “for the good of the nation.” If Trump is found to have conspired with an enemy power to influence our elections? If he’s found to have willfully laundered money from the Russian mob? An example must be set. He must go to prison!
The bright side is he’ll likely be near his son and many of his loyal acolytes. When George Papadopoulos was charged with having lied to the FBI it must have sent shivers down the spines (can the spineless have spines?) of Donald, Jr., Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, and others who we know have lied to the FBI. Maybe it will be a big reunion of the campaign team, Trump can greet them, “Hey, we’re getting the old gang back together!” None of them will age well.
Featured Photo: twitter.com