Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Today's Collusion Reading (UPDATED)

Here's today's small reading sample on the Trump- Russia scandal.

-- The New York Times has a helpful graphic about how key Trump crime family members are linked to Russia - much more detail at the link (click on image to enlarge):

(Attribution: New York Times/ screenshot)

-- Speaking of the Times, when you've lost "Cardinal" Ross "I Seriously" Douthat, you've lost, uh, another formerly credulous dupe:
Here is a good rule of thumb for dealing with Donald Trump: Everyone who gives him the benefit of the doubt eventually regrets it. 
This was true of clients and contractors and creditors throughout his business career. It was true of the sycophants and opportunists before whom he dangled cabinet appointments during the campaign and then, oh, never mind. It has been true of his cabinet members and spokesmen, whose attempts to defend and explain their boss’s conduct are gleefully undercut by the boss himself. And it should be true — for the sake of their souls, I sincerely hope it’s true — of the Republican leaders whose reputations for probity and principle he has stomped all over since winning their party’s nomination. 
And now it’s true of me.
He was willing to discount the smoke billowing from the Trump crime family's Russia connections until Fredo Donald "Usay" Trump, Jr., made it impossible to ignore. Moral courage!

-- Kerry Eleveld at Daily Kos on the the big security risk in the White House (besides Putin chew toy Donald "Rump" Trump, that is):
How many foreign contacts does someone have to omit from their SF-86 forms to lose their security clearance immediately? Because Jared Kushner managed to forget more foreign contacts than he listed, since he listed exactly zero. Who could’ve known that meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about setting up a secret back channel with Moscow or scrounging for dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer were noteworthy? Or how about that meeting with the head of a U.S.-sanctioned Russian state-run bank?
Fortunately for Kushner (but unfortunately for America), he's golden on two levels -- he's Mr. Ivanka Trump and his boss is decades- and- several- leagues deep in colluding with Russians himself.

UPDATE: Another view even shows the writhing vipers striking at the golden boy:
Advisers said the president was annoyed not so much by his son as by the headlines. But three people close to the legal team said he had also trained his ire on Marc E. Kasowitz, his longtime lawyer, who is leading the team of private lawyers representing him. Mr. Trump, who often vents about advisers in times of trouble, has grown disillusioned by Mr. Kasowitz’s strategy, the people said. 
The strain, though, exists on both sides. Mr. Kasowitz and his colleagues have been deeply frustrated by the president. And they have complained that Mr. Kushner has been whispering in the president’s ear about the Russia investigations and stories while keeping the lawyers out of the loop, according to another person familiar with the legal team. But one person familiar with Mr. Kasowitz’s thinking said his concerns did not relate to Mr. Kushner. 
The president’s lawyers view Mr. Kushner as an obstacle and a freelancer more concerned about protecting himself than his father-in-law, the person said. While no ultimatum has been delivered, the lawyers have told colleagues that they cannot keep operating that way, raising the prospect that Mr. Kasowitz may resign. (our emphasis)
That's about as close to an image of a swamp that we can visualize. Also, see Douthat, "Cardinal" Ross, above.

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