Friday, July 14, 2017

All Collusion - All Day

The challenge for President Trump’s attorneys has become, at its core, managing the unmanageable — their client.

He won’t follow instructions. After one meeting in which they urged Trump to steer clear of a certain topic, he sent a tweet about that very theme before they arrived back at their office. He won’t compartmentalize. With aides, advisers and friends breezing in and out of the Oval Office, it is not uncommon for the president to suddenly turn the conversation to Russia — a subject that perpetually gnaws at him — in a meeting about something else entirely.

Trump should step aside if for no other reason than he is a total and constant distraction from the governing of this country. But, hey, I'm not going to stop covering the distraction.
And he won’t discipline himself.
The only discipline he ever had in his life was in military school. Maybe they need to enroll him again.
Nearly two months after Trump retained outside counsel to represent him in the investigations of alleged Russian meddling in last year’s election, his and Kushner’s attorneys are struggling to enforce traditional legal boundaries to protect their clients.


Compounding the challenges have been tensions between Trump’s and Kushner’s legal teams in a frenzied, siege-like environment. Senior White House officials are increasingly reluctant to discuss the issue internally or publicly and worry about overhearing sensitive conversations, for fear of legal exposure.
The Trumps are radioactive at this point.
Trump’s eldest child, Donald Trump Jr., hired his own criminal defense attorney this week. [...] Trump Jr. also is considering hiring his own outside public relations team.
That's hysterical. Maybe he could hire one of the Russian lobbyists in Washington. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
As in Trump’s West Wing, lawyers on the outside teams have been deeply distrustful of one another and suspicious of motivations.
That's lawyers for you. Built into the profession, for obvious reasons.
They also are engaged in a circular firing squad of private speculation about who may have disclosed information about Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer to the New York Times, said people familiar with the situation.
Pretty sure everyone in that meeting is disclosing information about it.
Another question is who will pay the legal fees for the president and administration officials involved in the Russia inquiries.
They damn well better be paying for themselves.
Some in Trump’s orbit are pushing the Republican National Committee to bear the costs, said three people with knowledge of the situation, including one who euphemistically described the debate as a “robust discussion.”
I bet! Although, maybe they ought to have to pay for it - they foisted this shithouse on us. They've actually been building it for years.
Although the RNC does have a legal defense fund, it well predates the Russia investigations and is intended to be used for legal challenges facing the Republican Party, such as a potential election recount.
Is it too late? How about a completely new vote? In the meantime, somebody check in on Hillary's use of paid Russian information, i.e. the Steele dossier.
The White House has not said whether Trump, Kushner and other officials are paying their legal bills themselves or whether they are being covered by an outside entity.
We already know a number of firms refused to take on Trump because, aside from the fact that he won't take direction, he doesn't pay his bills. The gangster lawyers he had to retain apparently don't care. What a great recommendation for your president - he doesn't pay his bills.
[P]eople briefed on the evolving relationship said Trump has made Kasowitz absorb his fury about the Russia inquiries — in keeping with how the president treats his White House staff, quick to blame aides when things go awry.
I'm not feeling sorry for him.
“There’s no question that Donald Trump has lied flagrantly and almost pathologically his entire life,” said Timothy L. O’Brien, author of the Trump biography “TrumpNation” and a Bloomberg View columnist. “For good parts of his life, he’s been insulated from the consequences of doing that.”
Another nice recommendation.
His legal team is trying to impress upon him and those in his orbit that there could be severe ramifications for lying to federal investigators or congressional committees.
"Could be." There better be.
O’Brien said, “He is now in a completely different world, and it’s a world unlike any he’s ever existed in before — both in terms of the sophistication and honesty that’s required of him to do his job well, and most especially the titanic legal and reputational consequences of Donald Trump continuing to be the same old Donald Trump.”
That's all he's got.
His political advisers have long urged him to restrain his first impulses on social media and to think twice before tweeting — and now, his lawyers are asking the same.

Still, the president persists.

“It’s my voice,’’ Trump said in a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine. ‘‘They want to take away my voice. They’re not going to take away my social media.’’
Fine. Just as long as they take away your presidency.
Jared Kushner has been pressing other White House aides to more vigorously defend the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked lawyer that Kushner also attended, but has faced resistance from some of Trump’s top press aides, according to six sources familiar with the matter.

Nobody really wants to work there, do they?
West Wing aides have had little control as Trump himself has appeared to exacerbate the Russia controversy, including by firing FBI Director James Comey. Some top advisers also have been blindsided by new developments, such as the Russian lawyer meeting during the height of the campaign.


Four White House officials and two outside advisers say Kushner wants the White House to more aggressively push out surrogates and talking points to change the narrative around the latest twist in the Russia scandal.


Kushner called for full-on combat, according to a White House official.

A source close to Kushner [...] said that while he doesn’t have an exact plan for an overall Russia response, he was angry that there wasn’t a more robust effort from the communications team. Kushner wanted them to complain about chyrons on cable news, call reporters to update stories with White House statements, and unleash surrogates immediately. He was angry that there were no talking points offered to surrogates, the source said.
By "cable news" I'm assuming he meant Fox News. What other cable news does the White House have control over their reporting and their ticker-tape graphics?
"Jared wanted to get surrogates, he wanted an op-ed in The [Wall Street] Journal and The [New York] Times, and we said, ‘Wait, we have to talk through how that will play out. Who is going to say it, who is going to put their name on the op-ed and what baggage do they have?’" the outside adviser also said.
No shit. Ballsy little bastard, isn't he? Because they're in the White House, they control the news? Scary to think he believes that.
The White House disputed that Kushner had a conversation directly complaining to top communications officials about the Russia scandal defense.

"These conversations simply did not happen and Jared did not raise a single one of these points besides saying thank you to everyone for their continued hard work," the White House said in a statement attributed to Spicer, Sanders, spokesman Josh Raffel and other White House aides including Raj Shah, Jessica Ditto and Lindsay Walters.
Well, he's got that much control anyway. And that may come from the information he has to offer Mueller and the Intel Committees which he can hold over Trump's head. Everybody is worried about Trump being blackmailed by the Russians. How about by the Kushners?
But some of the communications aides, including press secretary Sean Spicer, and other senior staffers have expressed reservations. They say it’s best to leave it to outside counsel to handle the furor around Trump Jr., and fear inviting further legal jeopardy if Trump aides and allies more forcefully defend a meeting that they don’t fully know the details of, according to the sources.
So it would seem that "some of the communications aides" - or at least their lawyers - are not as stupid as the Trump Cabal.
“That’s the other problem is that some of these staffers can’t afford lawyers. You’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars, how is [deputy press secretary] Lindsay Walters going to pay for that? How could Spicer pay for that?” the outside adviser source said.
They could always try blackmail.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

No comments: