Good morning, everyone! I know that we’ve become so inured to corruption in the Trump Administration that we are no longer surprised by anything, but it’s important to remember that what Trump is doing is not normal. It is also bad. Very bad! Like, so bad that it not only would have gotten Obama impeached, it’s enough to slap at least one impeachable offense on the 44 Presidents before Trump.
For instance, reporting from the NY Times yesterday revealed that, after Matthew Whitaker took over as acting Attorney General, Trump asked that Whitaker get Trump ally Geoffrey Berman to “unrecuse” himself and take over the Michael Cohen/hush money investigation in the Southern District of New York. Whitaker said that he couldn’t do that, and apparently, Whitaker immediately lost favor with Trump (although, now he’s facing an investigation by the House over whether he was ever pressured by Trump to do something, which he denied in testimony last week and now faces possible perjury charges).
Among the other revelations in the article: After the White House fired Michael Flynn, Trump directed Sean Spicer to report to the press that Flynn had resigned; and one of Trump’s attorneys reached out to the lawyers of Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort in 2017 about possible pardons.
All of this is additional evidence of obstruction of justice, on top of the mountains of evidence on obstruction that the Mueller probe has already dug out, on top of the fact that Trump has publicly attacked the Russian investigation 1,100 times in two years. One thousand one hundred times!
Speaking of Michael Flynn, there’s probably a reason that Trump wanted to protect him, and that’s because he — and later Energy Secretary Rick Perry — endeavored to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia without Congressional approval. The House — which is now investigating — knows about it because of multiple whistleblowers inside the Administration. It certainly does shed additional light on why Trump and Jared Kushner were so motivated to defend Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
What’s insane is that none of this is really setting off much in the way of alarm bells. The corruption of this Administration is assumed and quickly absorbed, and at least my concern is, how bad does it have to get again before the media is, like, “Hey! This is bad. Super bad!”
The fact that CNN just hired Sarah Isgur as the 2020 politics editor certainly isn’t going to help. Isgur is a political partisan and Jeff Sessions’ former flack, and has served as an advisor to Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney, and now she’s in charge of making decisions for the network’s 2020 political coverage, despite having no journalism experience. Employees within the network are demoralized by the hire.
Sorry, didn’t get the latest memo after 1,000 experienced + qualified journalists of all stripes were let go w/o warning a few weeks ago and still looking for work: are we still pretending that hires like these are evidence of a meritocracy? https://t.co/Qb9JNgcdT2— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 20, 2019
Finally, I leave you with Kellyanne Conway, who no longer seems to be denying collusion in the Trump campaign, but does insist, “I have no exposure!”
Before: "There was NO COLLUSION WHATSOEVER."— Matt Rogers 🦅 (@Politidope) February 20, 2019
Now: "NOT ME! I HAVE NO EXPOSURE." pic.twitter.com/gICLqWOamP