The Trump/Giuliana/NRA Show

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Rudy Giuliani issued the following statement about Trump's hush-money payment:

First: There is no campaign violation. [...]

Second: My references to timing were not describing my understanding of the President's knowledge, but instead, my understanding of these matters.

Third: It is undisputed that the President's dismissal of former Director Comey [...] was plainly in the best interests of our nation.

However, Politico quotes another GOP operative saying that Trump "can't just lie his way out of every single box." Christopher Cadelago and Matthew Nussbaum write that "as president, Trump is running up against the limits of saying or doing whatever he wants:"

The revelation by Rudy Giuliani that his client reimbursed his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen for a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels contradicted Trump's own previous denials that he knew anything about the deal -- and, despite Giuliani's intent to tamp down concerns that the October 2016 payment violated campaign finance laws, raised a whole new set of questions about whether Trump failed to disclose a personal loan.

"As long as they believe that all that matters is the base and Fox News, they'll keep doing it," said Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist who has been critical of Trump's presidency. "But at some point, when the law is the issue and not Trump's bubble, you end up in a situation where he can't just lie his way out of every single box."

"In the wake of revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met during the 2016 campaign with a Kremlin-connected operator who promised 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton," the piece continues, "Trump and aides huddled on Air Force One and drafted a statement that the meeting was merely to discuss adoption policy:"

That story was quickly disproved, and now the episode is of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigates possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Also notable is the firing of FBI director James Comey:

Trump was warned by close aides that the move could be politically disastrous, but he went ahead anyway, tapping Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to draft a memo to justify the firing.

That document focused on Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation -- but Trump subsequently undermined that explanation, declaring on NBC News that he had fired Comey because of the Russia investigation. Trump then reportedly boasted in a meeting with senior Russian officials that firing Comey had taken "great pressure" off him.

That episode, too, is now a focus for Mueller.

"To Trump's associates and longtime supporters," they continue, "the decision to send Giuliani out on TV was textbook Trump:"

Few are better at exploiting a news cycle and media ecosystem whose hunger for a new development, anything loud or scandalous, is never sated.

Unless, to offer one counter-example, it's Trump tossing red meat to the NRA:

Taking a break from the escalating pressures of the Russia probe and the Stormy Daniels case, Trump returned to the NRA's annual convention, his fourth consecutive appearance. En route, Trump called the NRA a "truly great organization that loves this country."Last year, Trump became the first sitting president to appear before the NRA convention in more than 30 years.

"Trump has long enjoyed strong backing from the NRA," TPM notes, "which spent about $30 million in support of his presidential campaign:"

He praised members of the gun lobby as "great patriots" but declared "that doesn't mean we have to agree on everything. It doesn't make sense that I have to wait until I'm 21 to get a handgun, but I can get this weapon at 18." He was referring to the AR-15 the Parkland shooting suspect is accused of using.

Those words rattled some Republicans in Congress and sparked hope among gun-control advocates that, unlike after previous mass shootings, tougher regulations would be enacted this time. But Trump later retreated on those words, expressing support for modest changes to the background check system, as well as arming teachers.

Trump also asserted that gun rights are "under siege:"

"Thanks to your activism and dedication, you have an administration fighting to protect your Second Amendment, and we will protect your Second Amendment," Trump told a raucous crowd of NRA members in Dallas, Texas. "Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never, ever be under siege as long as I'm your president."

Then, the bullet-addled buffoon pivoted to arming teachers:

"We strongly believe in allowing highly trained teachers to carry concealed weapons, if they're highly trained," he said. "And we want highly trained security guards."

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on May 4, 2018 6:46 PM.

symbolic warfare and older ideas was the previous entry in this blog.

fake news and fundamentalism is the next entry in this blog.

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