Mueller Investigation

Giuliani Says There Was 'Nothing Wrong With Taking Information From Russians,' but Trump Clearly Thought Otherwise

Although it's not all clear that the Trump Tower meeting was criminal, the president knew it would look bad.

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Appearing on CNN's State of the Union yesterday, Rudy Giuliani made some valid points about the June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower between a Russian lawyer offering "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and top Trump campaign figures. But as usual, the president's lawyer overstated his case and spoke out of both sides of his mouth.

Giuliani told CNN's Jake Tapper "there's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians" who may have obtained it illegally, although he would have advised against it "just out of [an] excess of caution." Giuliani is right that there was nothing clearly criminal about the meeting, which figures prominently in the Mueller report. But "nothing wrong" goes too far, especially in light of Trump's subsequent efforts to disguise the nature of the meeting, which included his son, son-in-law, and campaign chairman. It seems clear that Trump himself thought the meeting would look bad and reinforce the impression that the Russian government helped him win the presidential election.

"There's no crime," Giuliani said. "You're assuming that the giving of information is a campaign contribution. Read the report carefully. The report says we can't conclude that, because the law is pretty much against that."

It would be more accurate to say it's doubtful whether such information would qualify as an illegal foreign campaign contribution. Such fuzziness is a hallmark of campaign finance rules and a strong argument against concluding that Donald Trump Jr. et al. knowingly broke the law by agreeing to the meeting, during which no actual derogatory information about Clinton materialized.

The relevant statutory provision applies broadly to "anything of value." Under Federal Election Commission regulations, that category includes at least some kinds of information, such as "membership lists" and "mailing lists." The Mueller report cites cases in which courts have held that "anything of value" and "thing of value," phrases that appear in other federal statutes dealing with crimes such as bribery and theft of government property, can include intangibles such as "confidential information about a competitive bid" or "law enforcement reports that would reveal the identity of informants."

Those decisions, the report says, "would support the view that candidate-related opposition research given to a campaign for the purpose of influencing an election could constitute a contribution to which the foreign-source ban could apply. A campaign can be assisted not only by the provision of funds, but also by the provision of derogatory information about an opponent. Political campaigns
frequently conduct and pay for opposition research. A foreign entity that engaged in such research and provided resulting information to a campaign could exert a greater effect on an election, and a greater tendency to ingratiate the donor to the candidate, than a gift of money or tangible things of value."

At the same time, however, "no judicial decision has treated the voluntary provision of uncompensated opposition research or similar information as a thing of value that could amount to a contribution under campaign-finance law." The report notes that "such an interpretation could have implications beyond the foreign-source ban," such as limits on campaign contributions by Americans, and "raise First Amendment questions."

Giuliani pointed out that Russian hacking of emails from Clinton's campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee, while illegal, produced accurate, newsworthy information that was widely reported by journalists. "The information that was gleaned and disseminated, every newspaper printed it," he said. "Why did The Washington Post print the information that came from a foreign source, when they knew it was hacked? Aren't they just as wrong for doing that as the campaign wanting to use it?"

To the extent that Giuliani is making an argument about ethics, he is on pretty solid ground. As he noted, political campaigns are always eager to obtain information that can be used against the other side, and they have the same First Amendment right to share that information with the public as news outlets do, even if the information was originally obtained illegally. But Giuliani also implied there is something shady about the practice.

Referring to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who on Friday reacted to the Mueller report by saying he was "sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office in the land, including the President," Giuliani said, "I'd like to take a good look at Romney's campaign and see if there were any immoral or unethical things done by the people working for him that he didn't know about. If there weren't, then it was the only campaign in history, because he's maybe…holier than the holiest one. There's no campaign in history that hasn't done that." It seems to me Giuliani is conceding too much here, since there is nothing "immoral or unethical" about sharing truthful, relevant information about your opponent, regardless of its provenance, as long as you did not commit a crime (such as stealing emails) to obtain it.

The president's critics, of course, argue that Trump Jr. et al. did commit a crime when they agreed to the Trump Tower meeting, even if it did not produce the anticipated "dirt." In that respect, they were situated differently from The Washington Post, which is not a political campaign and therefore is not constrained by the ban on foreign contributions. And the fact that Giuliani says he would have cautioned against the meeting "out of [an] excess of caution" suggests he would have anticipated that legal argument, even if he considered it dubious.

It seems unlikely that the president, who says he was not aware of the meeting when it happened, was well enough informed about campaign finance law to worry about the legal risk. But when news of the meeting broke in July 2017, Trump tried to obscure the motivation for it. "I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign," Trump Jr. said in the original version of his son's public statement, according to the Mueller report. Trump instructed his communications director, Hope Hicks, to excise any reference to such information from the statement, and the version released to the public said the meeting focused "primarily" on Russia's suspended foreign adoption program. "The statement did not mention the offer of derogatory information about Clinton," the Mueller report notes.

Trump's editing of his son's statement does not necessarily indicate he understood the potential legal implications of the meeting. More likely, it was part of his efforts to counter the narrative that he managed to defeat Clinton only because he had the Russian government's help—a claim that, as the Mueller report shows, drove Trump crazy. But it is hard to reconcile Trump's subterfuge with Giuliani's claim that "there's nothing wrong" (as opposed to nothing illegal) "with taking information from Russians." If so, why try to hide it?

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80 responses to “Giuliani Says There Was 'Nothing Wrong With Taking Information From Russians,' but Trump Clearly Thought Otherwise

  1. It is very clear that the meeting was not criminal. How could it be criminal? Moreover, if it was criminal, why didn’t the special counsel charge anyone over it. It is entirely clear that it wasn’t criminal. Saying “its not all clear” is just a way of lying without having the courage to make the accusation.

    Pathetic.

    1. John, who do you think Trump is? A Clinton or something?

      1. EV wrote an analysis on the theory that meeting foreigners to get information to use in a campaign can’t be illegal absent some other illegal act. The first amendment protects any speech that doesn’t further a crime, you can’t make the speech itself criminal.

        Let’s do a thought experiment here, let’s say after Steele fabricated his dossier and Hillary’s campaign became aware of the hotel peeing claim. Then Steele arranges a meeting for Podesta and other DNC officials in New York with a Russian model that claims she has dirt on Trump.

        The idea Podesta or the DNC would ever be charged with a crime is laughable.

    2. So I was in NOLA from Thursday through Sunday. Missed all the Mueller report reaction.
      I read back through Reason’s articles last night.
      Wow

      1. It boiled down to some variation of “sure the Russian collusion thing was a hoax and Trump didn’t do anything criminal but Trump is a big meany poopy head and should be removed from office anyway.”

        1. You should apply to be white house press secretary.

        2. +1,000,000,000

    3. I agree John. Anyone should be considered a hero if they obtained evidence Trump, or any presidential candidate, was colluding with Russia and revealed it to the public, saving the US from having a president whose strings were pulled by Putin.
      Trump also had good reasons to not mention the seeking of dirt on Clinton. It showed they got suckered into a meeting on false premises, publishing such a fact might lead nuts or spies to request a similar meeting. And it shines a negative light on politicians and the government showing political candidates assume all their competitors are dishonest and dirt on them exists.

      1. it shines a negative light on politicians and the government showing political candidates assume all their competitors are dishonest and dirt on them exists.

        Good assumption.

        As my grandpappy always used to say, (in a thick Eastern European accent) “They are all crooks.”

  2. Drumpt must guilty of something. Jaywalking or littering for instance. Surely these are impeachable.

    1. They got him dead to rights directing and profiting from a criminal scheme to evade campaign finance reporting if you’re looking for a crime. You have to understand, and I do now after Mueller’s report, that the DOJ is forbidden by policy from not only indicting a president they (DOJ employees) are forbidden from even compiling information in such a way as to accuse a president of a crime which is why Mueller says “this report does not accuse or exonerate Trump”.

      1. Okay, now you are just trolling. I think you are a regular on here scrwing with us.

        1. Is it news to you that Trump’s lawyer pled guilty to his part in a criminal conspiracy to evade campaign finance reporting? Is it news to you that DOJ policy says they may not indict or even accuse a president of committing a crime? Mueller was however free to exonerate Trump but he did not.

          1. “”Mueller was however free to exonerate Trump but he did not.””

            It’s not a prosecutor’s job to exonerate. Generally speaking, a prosecutor will think you are guilty even when there is sufficient evidence to the contrary.

            1. In this unique instance Mueller was writing a report to inform the AG. It’s a different situation from the ordinary course. You can see the dilemma. On the one hand Mueller is told to investigate the Russian govt’s conspiracy and to determine whether Trump’s associates participated in the election interference, and also to report on any obstruction of that inquiry but on the other hand Mueller is told you may not indict or even accuse the president because it’s unfair to president because he can’t avail himself of a trial to defend himself. So it’s an impossible situation. Mueller tried thread the nettle as best he could. Remember though Mueller was free to exonerate the president which he more or less did on the election meddling crimes. It’s the obstruction part where Mueller could not exonerate. The AG is likewise theoretically forbidden from accusing or indicting the president. I think if you have a problem with Mueller not exonerating Trump you should also have an issue with Barr doing so because as you prosecutors are not in the exoneration business except in certain post conviction settings. The law does permit and demand determinations about exonerations in those instances. It’s just a big cluster fuck because of the competing impossible to square policy positions.

              1. If you are a moby trying to screw with people you are certifiably obsessed.

                Although if you are actually sincere you are the same, but also way more bathetic.

          2. Trump is extremely devious, he’s got a multi decade record of having affairs and paying off for NDA’s to keep from having all the Bimbo eruptions Bill did. The fact he used his own money rather than campaign money for the payoffs is what makes them legal. If he used campaign funds then that would have been illegal because its not a legitimate campaign expense.

            Washington is outraged that he set a precedent that settlements for affairs and harassment can’t use government or campaign funds. That’s where the real scandal is.

        2. Yes, John, your sarcometer finally registered. Get it? S/he’s saying that unfortunately this is what ordinary persons, being doofuses, will think.

      2. So, what the heck was the friggin’ point of the whole thing????

        1. Young Sullum’s box of Cracker Jacks didn’t have a prize and he’s still not over that either.

      3. Trump didnt funnel money through a law firm to pay a British spy for Russian information, that was Hillary dumbass.

      4. Actually, what they’re forbidden from doing is accusing somebody of a crime if they don’t indict them. Because too many prosecutors were just libeling people, and then denying them the opportunity to clear their names in court.

        So Mueller went ahead and did it anyway on the obstruction claims, by pretending that he would have indicted if not for a DOJ policy of not indicting sitting Presidents. When, if you read the report, he really didn’t have diddly in the way of a case.

    2. Technically, having a bad comb-over is impeachable, if you’ve got the votes.

  3. Orange Man still bad.

    1. Mostly, it’s his followers who are deplorable losers who have been and deserve to continue to be crushed in the American culture war.

  4. Trump’s editing of his son’s statement does not necessarily indicate he understood the potential legal implications of the meeting. More likely, it was part of his efforts to counter the narrative that he managed to defeat Clinton only because he had the Russian government’s help—a claim that, as the Mueller report shows, drove Trump crazy.

    In an article filled with stupid statements, this one takes the cake. We know from the Mueller report Trump didn’t get any help from the Russians. Why wouldn’t the false charge that he got help from the Russians drive him crazy? Sollumn is so pathetic and so desparate to pin something on Trump, he now thinks an innocent person being angry about being slandered is evidence of wrong doing of some sort.

    1. Sullum and most Lefties dont have good reputations, so they dont care when they try to destroy other people’s good reputations.

  5. The problem for Trump though is that he wasn’t just a passive recipient of the stolen information. He was courting Russia long before this. Inviting Russia to meddle. Secretly doing business with Russia. Hiring a man associated with Russian scheming to run his campaign. It’s no coincidence that Russia interfered for Trump in this election. Trump compromised himself and the integrity of the election by inviting these thiefs to the party. Then Trump compounded the insult by covering up for the Russians. It’s a terrible scandal.

    1. Trump never recieved any stolen information. Stop fucking lying. You come on here and both bullshit with no documentation like people are going to believe you.

      1. Trump’s part in the Russian scheming was to profit from the criminal conspiracy and to reward Russia if he won the election. But Trump did say “Russia if you’re listening, you will be rewarded for stealing and releasing my opponents secret communications”. Trump did try and reward the Russians by removing the sanctions that Putin hates so muchm

        1. “”“Russia if you’re listening, you will be rewarded for stealing and releasing my opponents secret communications”. “”

          Can you source that?

          Here’s the quote I found.
          “I will tell you this, Russia, if you are listening, I hope you’re able to find to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.”

          1. That’s the quote. Russia, get involved and help me.

            1. It’s not the quote you claimed when you used quotations. Perhaps you don’t know what quotations are for. You were inferring that Trump would reward the Russians when that’s not what his quote says. The press is not Trump. The e-mails in the quote were not the DNC emails and were government e-mails under subpoena from a Judicial Watch lawsuit.

              Basically, you made a fake quote that misrepresents what was said in order for it to look like it supports your position.

              1. Fair enough. I won’t do that again. But the point remains that Trump invited the Russians to intervene on his behalf. Amazingly the Russians did just that shortly thereafter.

                1. “”But the point remains that Trump invited the Russians to intervene on his behalf. Amazingly the Russians did just that shortly thereafter.””

                  The DNC Emails were leaked on July 22 2016. Trump’s statement was on July 27 2016.

                  The DNC hack occurred prior to Trumps statement. IIRC, Trump’s statement was a sort of response to the DNC emails becoming public.

                  Are you referring to a different Russian hack?

      2. We all received the stolen information by the way.

    2. >>>It’s a terrible scandal.

      the last 50 years of school lunches is a terrible scandal. this is Shakespeare in the Park for the Elite Class

      1. Yeah, big picture I can see your point.

        1. i suppose (R) can claim “terrible scandal” now

    3. LOL!!!! So, the Russkies spent about $200,000 on some Twitter & Fake-Book ads & that is supposed to have turned the whole tide towards Trump?..I guess it was not the lack of campaigning by Da Witch in the Midwest & her continual running of a negative campaign against her opponent without offering anything positive for America’s future!

  6. A former FBI Special Agent explains the disastrous precedent this country will establish if we fail to impeach Putin’s Puppet.

    Congress not beginning impeachment hearings sends a double signal to foreign countries that they can interfere with our elections, and as long as the candidate wins he can obstruct any investigation into it and no one will do anything

    Any American with an ounce of patriotism must support impeachment. If you’re not with us, you’re with the Russians.

    1. That might be the dumbest thing I have read all day.

    2. Where the real scandal will be is if Barr doesn’t go thru the FBI and DOJ like shit through a goose to make sure they remember the purge of ’19 next time they want to meddle in an election.

  7. It seems unlikely that the president, who says he was not aware of the meeting when it happened, was well enough informed about campaign finance law to worry about the legal risk.

    Regulatory capture of the political process is just as insidious as the kind employed in other markets.

  8. This is how reason would also attack any Libertarian President.

    Turn completely legal actions into something that can be propagandized to seem illegal. Then when 2 years of ‘investigations’ by a sympathetic bureaucrat still does not find criminal violations, just lie.

  9. What’s the story on Paul Manafort? He was working for a Russian oligarch to help elect Russian friendly Ukrainians? He was convicted of failing to register as an agent for foreign govts and tax evasion on the millions he received from the Russian oligarch? He lied about sharing Trump’s campaign data and strategy with a Kremlin connected Russian? He was involved in changing the GOP policy on the defense of Ukraine to something more favorable to Russia? How does this guy wind up running Trump’s campaign? I bet the juicy stuff is tucked away in the counterintelligence files.

    1. Good luck in your quest to become the new Tony, OP.
      It will be quite the battle.

      Off topic (or is it…): just saw a video of a step up from Florida Man – Florida Easter Bunny, who beats down disrespectful drunks on Orlando sidewalks… maintaining character the whole time

      1. Lol, not sure I can get the juices flowing on the normal policy stuff. On the OT, you gotta love America.

  10. >>>Giuliani is right that there was nothing clearly criminal about the meeting

    full stop.

    1. That’s where it ends, yes. Nothing to see here, move along.

      Actually, even if it was illegal for Trump to accept a donation of information from a foreign source, all he’d have to do is say, “Well, if they’d had anything on her, we’d have paid for it, of course.” and he’d be in the clear. It isn’t illegal for campaigns to BUY things of value from foreign sources.

      But, talk about burying the lede; The meeting in question was arranged by the FBI itself, in an effort to entrap Trump’s campaign!

      1. To be specific, the FBI in coordination with the Clinton campaign’s Fusion GPS contacts.

        “But an earlier investigation by RealClearPolitics showed that as early as March 2016, the FBI, other Western intelligence sources and Clinton campaign operatives contacted the Trump campaign about potentially damaging information about Clinton.

        They were in effect live-trolling the campaign.

        This is significant. Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Putin-connected lawyer who contacted the Trump campaign about having dirt on Hillary Clinton, was a client of Fusion GPS when she met with Donald Trump Jr. and others in the Trump campaign.

        And she was accompanied by a former Soviet military counterintelligence official, now working as a lobbyist, named Rinat Akhmetshin.

        Let that sink in for a moment.

        What’s especially curious is that GPS’ Glenn Simpson admits he had dinner with Veselnitskaya both the night before and the night after the Trump Tower meeting.

        Any possibility there was no discussion of the meeting between the two? Seems highly unlikely. Veselnitskaya herself subsequently claimed that the talking points for her meeting with the Trump people were provided to her by Simpson.”

        1. Was Crossfire Hurricane was an attempted sting operation toward the Trump campaign and the Crossfire Hurricane we heard about is just a parallel construction?

        2. The funny thing is that we knew the hoax was a hoax in the summer of 2016, yet it took normies almost 3 years and they still don’t know it’s a hoax.

          He’s dead now so it can’t affect him, but why isn’t anyone examining how Veselnitskaya met with Sen. McCain earlier in the year? Or how she entered the US to meet with Don Jr. with an expired visa? Or how she met with Obama’s Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, literally one week after the Trump Tower meeting?

  11. Keep digging at that scab, Reason. You’ll find that magic weapon which will destroy Orange Man. I just know it.

    1. Pres. Trump’s reign will be ended by lack of enough half-educated bigots to arrange another longshot trip through the Electoral College. After four years of demographic improvement in the American electorate, there just won’t be enough superstitious right-wing malcontents left to enable Trump to win again.

      Enjoy it while you can, clingers.

      1. You are the only half educated bigot on here and you hate Trump. You might be the dumbest human being on earth. So if there is a dearth of stupid people, it isn’t Trump that is in trouble if you are any indication.

        1. I’m sure the half-educated can do better than a one trick pony.

  12. If I was your president I would pardon practically every person in prison except the sex crime peeps and the violent types but even among those I would examine the cases for overkill. The only reason I have a hard on for nailing Trump is because he’s in power and he won office promising to get tough on crime. The exception to my reluctance to judge harshly is for the people who judge harshly. It’s a tight rope though and you gotta be careful or you’ll fall into the trap of becoming that which you despise. In the event Trump is defeated or forced from office I will pull my back troops. And now my watch for the day has ended.

    1. “”Trump is because he’s in power and he won office promising to get tough on crime””

      You’ve been going along with the Russia put Trump is office narrative. Not because he promised to get tough on crime.

  13. It’s entertaining to discover almost daily how much Trump has in common with Hillary. He (like she) might not have broken any laws, but Trump (like Hillary) sure acts like a guilty person. Maybe it’s his pathological lying, I dunno.

  14. since when is it illegal to get and use information about a criminal act by another person. However it is illegal to create false information of a criminal act of another person AKA the Steele Dosier was fake info to inflict harm on another, that would be a criminal act.

  15. Most of the meeting covered topics that were unrelated to “Clinton dirt”. The lawyer mentioned it near the end of the meeting and it got no reaction from Don Jr. Some people had actually left the meeting at that point. So Trump’s statement on the incident, revised or otherwise, was essentially true. He may have been advised to avoid suggestion of wrongdoing.

    Trump had no real relationship with Russia, other than some building project. Putin probably ordered the lawyer to offhandedly mention Clinton dirt in a discussion about sanctions and adoption policies to gauge a reaction or interest from Don Jr. Clapper testified that Russians often try to get a feel of certain individuals who might be useful to their agenda, and often these people don’t even realize the contact was illegal.

  16. In the words of the immortal Fernando Lamas

    “It does not matter how you feel, it is how you look and you look mahvelous”

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hXydX9p_ZxA

  17. Leaving aside the Russians, the general case of a political candidate taking hacked adverse information from foreign sources surely ought to be treated as a crime. Why is that, when in a similar case where information hacked domestically goes to a journalist, it is already clearly established that the journalist commits no crime if he publishes it? Two reasons:

    1. A journalist is treated as a criminal if he participates in the hacking itself, or conspires to make it happen.

    2. The domestic hacker is always subject to criminal penalties, which as a practical matter can’t be expected to restrain the foreigner.

    Thus, if as Giuliani asserted, it’s okay for a candidate to use foreign-sourced hacked information, the door is opened to encourage US political candidates to conspire with foreigners to circumvent US anti-hacking laws. The practice would become universal and obligatory. It would become campaign malpractice not to do it. Only criminal penalties for the candidate can prevent that, and conspiracy charges are the appropriate existing criminal remedy.

    1. But you’re treating this as though the government had arbitrary authority to make speech and publishing criminal, which it does not.

      That journalists are not criminals if they merely republish the product of somebody else’s hacking without having participated in it themselves is not a policy choice, that could have gone the other way. It’s dictated by 1st amendment considerations.

      The same considerations would protect a campaign. You can’t just make speech or publishing a strict liability matter. You need some actual criminal action unrelated to the speech, or else you run afoul of the 1st amendment.

      Heck, campaign regulations are skating on thin 1st amendment ice as it is. Your suggestion would have them underwater.

    2. This post reminds me of Cuomo telling everyone it was illegal for anyone but him and other journalists to look at Wikileaks.

      Glad to see we have more authoritarian bootlickers lurking.

    3. So what your saying is Hillary, the DNC, and Perkins Coie should be prosecuted for hiring a foreign spy to get dirt on a candidate from aledgedly a foreign government? I say aledgedly because while Steele claims he got the info from Russian government sources, it’s pretty obvious now he was just making shit up.

    4. “the general case of a political candidate taking hacked adverse information from foreign sources surely ought to be treated as a crime.”

      Unless the source is a “journalist,” right? Or only “journalists” who get published in the New York Times, right?

      Or, so long as the adverse information is not adverse to a Democrat, right?

      So ‘Stephen’ what are your thoughts on US intelligence agencies encouraging foreign state actors to dig dirt on political opponents? Should that maybe be a crime?

  18. If you didnt do anything wrong, why try to hide anything from government thugs intent on ruining your life?

    This is reason libertarianism in the age of TDS.

    Fuck you Sullum.

    1. Lighten up Francis. Your sentiment applies to private citizens. While Trump was still a private citizen during his campaign, he sought to become the head the government agency in charge of the thugs you mentioned. If the government has ANY function whatsoever, it should complete that function as transparently as possible. Elections are clearly a government function, therefore Trump’s actions during his campaign should absolutely be reviewable.

      That’s as Libertarian as it gets.

      1. Subjecting anyone who runs for office to state sponsored colonoscopy is not how you get government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

        It’s how you perpetuate an aristocracy.

        1. And if you doubt that then compare and contrast the treatment of Hillary’s underlings vs. Trumps. One set got granted immunity before answering any questions and the other got set up for process crimes.

  19. If taking information from a Russian is a crime then every single American should be in jail right now.

  20. the democrats and the fbi obviously thought there was nothing wrong with taking information from russians and other foreign actors and using it for political purposes. the steele dossier was based on claims by a senior FSB agent a Russian foreign ministry official, two other russian citizens, and it was all compiled by a former m16 agent.

    if reason was a libertarian rag instead of a partisan progressive mouthpiece it would have a problem with the deep state attempting a soft coup against a duly elected president using discredited information from actual russian security service agents rather than hypothetical oppo research from russian agents that trump supposedly wanted but never existed. but not a word of it.

    so where do I need to go to find a real libertarian take on the news since the editors of reason have been bought off to be the mouthpiece of the security state?

  21. > But it is hard to reconcile Trump’s subterfuge with Giuliani’s claim that “there’s nothing wrong” (as opposed to nothing illegal) “with taking information from Russians.” If so, why try to hide it?

    Well, one reason I can think of is the media narrative at the time that Russian interference called into question the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency–despite not having a clear understanding of the magnitude of that interference at the time. I can understand why a sitting president wouldn’t want to add those fears.

  22. […] had met in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, Trump edited a public statement about the meeting, excising any reference to that offer. When his communications […]

  23. […] had met in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, Trump edited a public statement about the meeting, excising any reference to that offer. When his communications […]

  24. No mention of the Russian lawyer at the meeting who met with the dossier creators (Fusion GPS) before and after the Trump Tower meeting.

    Was the meeting a set up?

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