The Collusion Is (Still) Right Out in the Open

As I have noted many times, the collusion between the Trump campaign, and now Trump administration, has always happened right out in the open. And so it continues. Yesterday, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had their second phone call in four days. David Filipov at the Washington Post reports:
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday phoned [Donald] Trump to thank him for a tip from the CIA that thwarted a terrorist attack being planned in St. Petersburg.

The unusual call — countries share intelligence all the time, but presidents rarely publicly thank one another for it — was confirmed by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Putin told Trump that the information provided by the CIA allowed Russian law enforcement agencies to track down and detain a group of suspects who were planning to bomb the centrally located Kazan Cathedral and other crowded parts of Russia's second-largest city.

"Based on the information the United States provided, Russian authorities were able to capture the terrorists just prior to an attack that could have killed large numbers of people," the White House said in its readout of the call. "Both leaders agreed that this serves as an example of the positive things that can occur when our countries work together."

It was the two presidents' second conversation since Thursday, when they spoke after Putin's annual four-hour televised news conference, during which the Russian leader mentioned the booming U.S. stock market as an example of Trump's successes. The White House said Trump thanked Putin for remarks he made "acknowledging America's strong economic performance."

...In their phone conversation Sunday, Putin asked Trump to pass along his gratitude to CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the American intelligence agents who received the information, the Kremlin said. It said Putin also told Trump that "if Russian special services obtain any information on terrorist threats against the United States and its citizens, they will definitely and immediately pass it to American counterparts through partner channels."

The CIA declined to comment on that.
Putin, who is well aware of Trump's stubborn fealty to the remarkably stupid idea that a friendship between the two men is both possible and integral to world peace, plays Trump like a fiddle, flattering his gigantic, fragile ego by complimenting the performance of the U.S. stock market, about which Trump brags incessantly on Twitter, and thanking Trump for the great job his intelligence agencies are doing. (Emphasis on "his.")

And Trump plays right along, because he is convinced that he's the con man but is actually the mark.

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Meanwhile, as Jeremy Diamond, Sara Murray, and Manu Raju report at CNN, Trump continues to predict that he will soon be exonerated of collusion by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation:
Trump is boasting to friends and advisers that he expects Mueller to clear him of wrongdoing in the coming weeks, according to sources familiar with the conversations. The President seems so convinced of his impending exoneration that he is telling associates Mueller will soon write a letter clearing him that Trump can brandish to Washington and the world in a bid to finally emerge from the cloud of suspicion that has loomed over the first chapter of his presidency, the sources said.

...In private conversations, Trump still speaks dismissively of the Russia investigation, referring to it as "bullshit" and proclaiming "I don't know any Russians!" multiple sources told CNN.

...Three sources familiar with the President's recent conversations about the investigation said Trump has become convinced that he will receive a letter of exoneration, which would be unusual. One source worried Trump would have a "meltdown" if that doesn't happen.

"He'll try and fire Mueller and then be impeached," this person predicted.
Part of the reason for Trump's confidence is, of course, that he's colluding right out in the open under the guise of foreign policy.

But this is not routine diplomacy. And none of us should indulge the ludicrous pretense that it is. Including and especially Bob Mueller.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus