Donald Trump is trying to gaslight Twitter again. Don’t fall for it.
Tracking the scores of lies, false statements and “alternative facts” issued by Donald Trump has literally become a full-time job for online publications. Some, such as “nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters” are relatively harmless. Others, like claiming he had “the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan” are easily debunked and do nothing but tarnish the academic reputation of the Wharton School of Finance. And blatantly lying about the size of his inauguration crowd only serves to make him appear pathetic and paranoid. But when it comes to the issue of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, his lies cease to be mere embarrassments as they become genuinely dangerous.
The New York Times obtained a copy of a list provided to Trump’s attorneys by Mueller’s office that lists questions the special counsel would like answered. The president kicked off his Tuesday morning on Twitter addressing the leak:
So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2018
Which would seem like there would be an argument to, at the very least, stop accusing the President of colluding with Russia in 2016. Except there are questions Mueller would like answered about Russia. Plenty of them.
Per the list obtained by the Times, Mueller has more than a passing interest in what Trump knew about Russia’s influence on his campaign and inner circle. At least 18 questions can relate to possible collusion:
- What did you know about phone calls that Mr. Flynn made with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, in late December 2016?
- What was your reaction to news reports on Jan. 12, 2017, and Feb. 8-9, 2017? – The reports in question were Washington Post investigations into the nature of Flynn’s call with Kislyak.
- What did you think about Mr. Comey’s intelligence briefing on Jan. 6, 2017, about Russian election interference?
- What was the purpose of your Jan. 27, 2017, dinner with Mr. Comey, and what was said? Per Former FBI DIrector James Comey, Trump raised concerns about the so-called Steele Dossier at this dinner.
- What did you know about the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mr. Flynn and Russia in the days leading up to Mr. Comey’s testimony on March 20, 2017?
- What did you mean in your interview with Lester Holt about Mr. Comey and Russia?
- When did you become aware of the Trump Tower meeting?
- What involvement did you have in the communication strategy, including the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails?
- During a 2013 trip to Russia, what communication and relationships did you have with the Agalarovs and Russian government officials?
- What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?
- What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding any meeting with Mr. Putin? Did you discuss it with others?
- What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding Russian sanctions?
- What involvement did you have concerning platform changes regarding arming Ukraine?
- During the campaign, what did you know about Russian hacking, use of social media or other acts aimed at the campaign?
- What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?
- What did you know during the transition about an attempt to establish back-channel communication to Russia, and Jared Kushner’s efforts?
- What do you know about a 2017 meeting in Seychelles involving Erik Prince?
- What do you know about a Ukrainian peace proposal provided to Mr. Cohen in 2017?
The Times report offers incredible detail and background on each question and is well worth a moment of your time. It’s also probably worth many moments of the president’s time as well, considering he’s either pants-on-fire lying again, or has absolutely NO idea what collusion means. Which would be odd, for somebody so obsessed with it.
Given his track record, the odds overwhelmingly favor the likelihood that he’s intentionally and willfully lying to his audience. He’s earned no benefit of the doubt.
Do not provide him with one.
Photo Credit: Youtube / Wochit.