The Trump administration remains a highly politicized machine pushing the Donald Trump agenda above American basics like respect for the legal system. Friday, in response to some of the latest rounds of coverage about Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lashed out at the Russia investigation as led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller yet again. This time, she claimed that the undertaking “probably” undermines the United States relationship with Russia.
Sanders was responding to speculation about why Trump had cancelled a planned meeting with Putin concurrent to the G20 summit of world leaders this week in Argentina. The president had previously insisted that the cancellation was over some of Russia’s latest antagonism of Ukraine — which is ironic considering Trump’s blamed former President Barack Obama for Russia’s occupation of the Crimean peninsula and he’s sought to ignore the annexation through welcoming Putin back into what’s currently the G7 world leaders group.
Most recently, Russia captured a number of Ukrainian ships and their crews over contention about access to the waters around the peninsula, which the Kremlin seized a number of years ago. The acute tension over the ship seizure remains ongoing.
Sanders explained the Trump administration’s position:
‘The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is hopefully now nearing an end, is doing very well. Unfortunately, it probably does undermine our relationship with Russia. However, the reason for our cancelled meeting is Ukraine. Hopefully, that will be resolved soon so that productive conversations can begin.’
WH press secretary Sarah Sanders says Mueller investigation undermines US-Russia relationship in new statement: pic.twitter.com/NUlbC5FQwr
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) November 30, 2018
Does the Kremlin’s military aggression not itself “probably undermine our relationship with Russia” more than a lawfully proceeding domestic criminal investigation into more aggression from the Kremlin? How is the investigation into Russian meddling in 2016 U.S. elections anywhere close to the villain in this scenario? What is the Trump team continuing to hide?
They’ve faced a number of substantive developments just this week. The special counsel revealed in updates to the court on their case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that he’d lied to them and thereby broken his plea agreement.
Separately, a report emerged asserting Manafort had secretly met multiple times with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was responsible for spreading emails Russian hackers stole from Democrats.
Trump has proven open to the idea of pardoning Manafort while he still awaits sentencing in the case in which he entered the guilty plea (and the separate one in which he was declared guilty of financial fraud charges).
On top of that, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen entered a surprise plea deal with Mueller after having previously entered into a similar plea agreement with authorities in New York. Cohen pleaded guilty most recently to lying to Congress about the scope of efforts to establish a Trump Organization presence in Moscow — to which Trump offered his familiar “I didn’t do it, but if I did it wouldn’t be wrong” retort.
His word salads, though, can’t save him from the looming Russia investigation which continues to get ever closer, snaking its way through Cohen, Manafort, Roger Stone, Jerome Corsi, Donald Trump Jr., and beyond.
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