Friday, June 16, 2017

Trump Goes After Deputy AG Rosenstein (UPDATED)

Demonstrating again this morning that he's consumed by fear and guilt and unable to control his impulses, un- indicted co- conspirator Donald "Rump" Trump is now attacking (one has to assume) Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for his part in the Justice Department's obstruction of justice investigation. As we noted yesterday, his previous rumblings about firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller amounted to a dimwitted ploy that assumed Mueller would be pressured to exonerate Rump. Perhaps this is in the same category of delusional bullying, or perhaps he's just laying the groundwork to begin firing people that are getting too close to blowing the Russiagate and linked investigations wide open. You judge:

By the way, thanks for confirming the Washington Post report that you are, indeed, under investigation, you corrupt dolt.

UPDATE: ABC News is reporting this about Rosenstein --
The senior Justice Department official with ultimate authority over the special counsel's probe of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election has privately acknowledged to colleagues that he may have to recuse himself from the matter, which he took charge of only after Attorney General Jeff Sessions' own recusal, sources tell ABC News. 
Those private remarks from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are significant because they reflect the widening nature of the federal probe, which now includes a preliminary inquiry into whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice when he allegedly tried to curtail the probe and then fired James Comey as FBI director.
We'll see if this pans out as an accurate story, and if and how it fits with the Rump tweet above.


Silver Spring Bureau Chief said...

But you told Lester Holt that you would've fired Comey anyways!

W. Hackwhacker said...

"Which means... I'm really investigating myself! Case closed! Total vindication!"

Jeff Ryan said...

I'm not at all sure he was talking about Rosenstein.

W. Hackwhacker said...

That seems to be an emerging consensus, but, we'll have to wait to see (and, yes, I know "when you assume...")

Jeff Ryan said...

I know that's the emerging consensus, but it could well be wrong. Don't forget, Trump interviewed Mueller for the FBI Director job the day after Comey was fired. Or so some reporting goes. It seems undisputed Mueller met with Trump at some point, and given Trump's casual approach to facts and chronology, I wouldn't be surprised to discover Trump is claiming Mueller told him the firing was a good idea. (I don't believe for one minute Mueller said any such thing, but, well, Trump...)

Things bear listening to. The other day, the country went crazy because Chris Ruddy (the man who gave us "Vince Foster was murdered") said he thought Trump was considering firing Mueller. Ruddy did not claim that Trump ever said any such thing to him, but many media outlets "trumpeted" (sorry) Ruddy's friendship with Trump to suggest Ruddy got his info from Trump.

In fact, as I watched the video of Ruddy the day the story broke, it seemed clear to me that he was basing his opinion on what Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz had said publicly about the case a week before. Watch it yourself, and you'll see. Ruddy eventually confirmed this, but if anyone had stopped to really pay attention to the video, it would have been obvious he was referring to what Kasowitz had already said publicly. Unfortunately, the media heard what it wanted and went into hysteria.

W. Hackwhacker said...

Jeff - You're well describing the chaos that comes with a chaotic presidency and the perils of trying to interpret it through tweets, leaks, ambiguous reporting, etc. We just have to see how this is going to unfold.

Jeff Ryan said...

Yes, but I am also cautioning against reaching quick, perhaps wrong conclusions. The Ruddy story is a very good example.

W. Hackwhacker said...

Jeff - just re the Ruddy story, you're right. A lot of the initial reporting was that Ruddy had gotten this straight from a convo with Trump.

FYI, On Tuesday we carried Ruddy's initial blurb to PBS without declaring it factually accurate or not.

Subsequently, the quote we (in a Thursday post) and others have used ("That may have been by design, according to a person who spoke to Mr. Trump on Tuesday. The president was pleased by the ambiguity of his position on Mr. Mueller, and thinks the possibility of being fired will focus the veteran prosecutor on delivering what the president desires most: a blanket public exoneration.") came from a June 13 New York Times article by Thrush, Haberman, and Davis. Ruddy was in the White House on Monday, not Tuesday, and while he reportedly didn't speak to Trump may have received that notion from Kasowitz or someone else (hate to cite Chris Cillizza, but -- So, someone "who spoke to Mr.Trump on Tuesday" seems to have been the source the Times used confirming Trump thought the threat of Mueller would "focus" Mueller on ending the investigation more quickly.

Though, just to be clear, we're with you 100% that it's always good not leap to conclusions. Thanks for your informed, thoughtful comments.

Jeff Ryan said...

First, thanks so much for taking the time to look into this. I'm sure you have better things to do.

Second, I missed the Times item claiming corroboration on the 13th. (I refuse to pay the Times to read their coverage and get mad. I can get mad all by myself.) So that is key.

My only point is that I still believe that a simple viewing of Ruddy's interview on Monday the 12th with Judy Woodruff did not support the initial hysteria, because Ruddy expressly referred only to Kasowitz's public statement was the basis for his opinion. And prior to any corroboration, the press went insane. Though it's nice the story may have been true (who knows with this idiot?).

Ruddy himself pushed back on the initial accounts and made it clear he was only going by what Kasowitz said.

ETA: Actually, Ruddy blamed it on attorney Jay Sekulow, not Kasowitz.

So I got that wrong as well. But the point remains valid.