President Donald Trump and his allies have proven themselves time and time again ready to exploit anything and everything in their efforts to undercut the Russia investigation. It’s in that light that the president at one point spun judicially allowed surveillance of two former associates of his into a claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped.
Passion on the part of the president and his allies does not equal logical coordination, however. This fact has become perhaps most evident recently in the media appearances conducted by new addition to the Trump legal team, Rudy Giuliani.
During a Friday appearance on CNN, he broke with the president on the credibility of a claim that there was an informant for the FBI inside the Trump campaign. In line with elevations of past complaints about leaks above concerns about actual misdeeds, the president and his allies seem to think that they should be able to get away with whatever they’d like if there was, in fact, an informant inside the campaign.
Again though, breaking with the president early Friday, Giuliani cast doubt on whether or not there was ever an informant inside the campaign in the first place.
He told host Chris Cuomo:
‘Here’s the issue that I really feel strongly about with this informant, if there is one. First of all, I don’t know for sure, nor does the President, if there really was. We’re told that.’
Giuliani said that the president’s legal team had information to that effect shared with them “off the record,” but added that “you don’t know if they’re right or not.”
Just Friday morning, the president took to Twitter to share comments apparently from one of his favorite Fox News hosts about the matter, then adding his own.
‘“Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit.” David Asman
@LouDobbs @GreggJarrett Really bad stuff!’
Trump, then, evidently, seems to be far more convinced of the credibility of the reporting about the informant than Giuliani.
Interactions between an informant and one or more members of Trump’s team may have uncovered actual crimes; it’s not an automatic logical connection, as Trump asserts it is, from Point A of there being an informant to Point B of that informant’s findings being illegitimate. Crimes are crimes.
Nevertheless, the president and his allies continue on with their relentless campaign to undercut the Russia investigation as led at present by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
This time around, the base the president is using to attack the Russia investigation is actually corroborated by press reports.
CNN itself notes in their write-up of Giuliani’s comments that The New York Times reported just this week that an informant for the government met “several times” with Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, both of whom have faced intense scrutiny at this point for ties to Russia. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to authorities about those interactions.
In addition, CNN also notes that The Washington Post reports that Trump and his allies are privately seeking the identity of the informant, forcing the FBI into “damage control” mode.
None of those details, however, condemn the Russia probe as legally illegitimate, and yet the president and his allies are pressing on anyway.
Check out Giuliani’s full appearance on CNN below.
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