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Trump And Russia: Is It Watergate Yet?

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Trump And Russia: Is It Watergate Yet?

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As Donald Trump and his subordinates lash out wildly to suppress discussion of his presidential campaign’s alleged collusion with the Kremlin, they only fan intuitions of a truly monumental scandal. With their latest attempts to manipulate the Federal Bureau of Investigation and intimidate the Washington press corps, they are clumsily encouraging comparisons with Watergate — although as usual with this crew, it isn’t so simple to distinguish malevolence from incompetence.

The New York Times and CNN clearly struck a sensitive nerve with reports that the FBI is investigating multiple contacts last year between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. Whatever the nature of those contacts and officials, such stories fit neatly into the long-developing narrative of an illicit effort by Kremlin operatives to sway our presidential election on Trump’s behalf, through email hacking, fake news reports, hired internet trolls, and other means.

If the Russian hacking story was troubling for Trump, it was not nearly as dangerous as the possible collusion of Trump aides and advisers in that conspiracy. While no direct evidence of collusion has emerged, the implication was inescapable.

The reactions of Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, press secretary Sean Spicer, chief strategist Steve Bannon, and Trump himself were all telling. After denying the Times story on Meet the Press, Priebus asked a top FBI official to support that denial — a request that the bureau properly rejected because its probe is still continuing. Spicer attacked the stories from the press podium and then, in an extraordinary measure, excluded the Times, CNN, and several other news organizations from a briefing in his office. Bannon, in a rare public appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, proclaimed a permanent war against the independent press, warning “it’s going to get worse every day for the media.”

As for Trump, he responded with incoherent and contradictory complaints — raking the “enemy” media in a speech for inventing the Russia stories, and blasting his own FBI in a Twitter tantrum for failing to apprehend the “leakers” within the bureau, who presumably had leaked those stories. Of course, a leaked story and a fabricated story are very different: a leak is based on facts, while a fabrication is based on…”alternative” facts.

None of what we have seen so far is Watergate, but the echoes are getting louder and weirder. The embattled President Nixon oversaw an elaborate campaign of pressure and interference with the FBI Watergate investigation, which ultimately became a major element in the impeachment brief against him. Nixon and his team pushed back hard against the press, including a public crusade by Vice President Spiro Agnew — and an infamous episode when the Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein called Attorney General John Mitchell to ask about a slush fund used by the Committee to Reelect The President for intelligence operations against the Democrats.

Threatening Post publisher Katharine Graham, Mitchell screamed, “Jeeesus! Are you gonna publish that crap in the paper? It’s all been denied. Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published.” (It was published, it was true, and “Mr. Law and Order” Mitchell eventually went to prison.)

Do Trump and his associates have something to hide — something even bigger and uglier than Watergate? The ferocity of their reactions certainly arouses suspicion, and so did their peculiar effort to conceal the misconduct of fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, which they attempted to hide even from the hapless vice president. Had the damning facts about Flynn not leaked, the compromised adviser would still be running the National Security Council, according to Trump.

We may never know the full truth, unless and until the Senate appoints a special investigative committee, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses his conflicted self to appoint a special counsel. For now, unfortunately, Trump can rely on the protection of most Republicans on Capitol Hill, whose interpretation of their duty is so craven and self-serving, unlike the Republican leaders who rose to the challenge of Watergate.

Indeed, all too many Republicans seem ready to celebrate the Kremlin’s violation of our democracy. At CPAC, dozens of fervent “conservatives” waved little Russian Federation flags sporting a TRUMP logo, until conference officials confiscated them.

But that bizarre display didn’t reflect the attitude of most Americans. And we can hope that this administration’s attempts to bully the press corps will not only fail, but backfire — just as in Nixon’s time.

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Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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70 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila February 26, 2017

    Better analogies to the alleged collusion of Trump campaign personnel with Russian operatives is Reagan’s collusion with the Ayatollahs regarding the release of the hostages and, later, the Iran-Contra affair. The most disturbing part of this issue are the overt attempts to silence the press and our institutions of government. I find the indifference of so many Americans to such an overt demonstration of dictatorial tactics, and such a blatant violation of what our Constitution stands for more disturbing than all the garbage that comes out of Trump’s mouth. I can’t believe so many fellow Americans are willing to sacrifice what our nation stands for, our values, our history and traditions, to achieve goals such as shifting the ideological leanings of the Supreme Court to the far right. Potential future decisions by the SCOTUS should not influence a decision to pave the way for totalitarian fascism in America. People must make an effort to understand that once totalitarianism becomes a reality, the rule of law depends more on what the dictator wishes than what is best for the people. We are on the verge of allowing the emergence of a Fascist regime in the USA. If an overwhelming majority of Americans, the maligned media, Congress, and all our institutions of government don’t stand up soon, it may be impossible to stop it.

    Reply
    1. TZToronto February 26, 2017

      I fear that many Americans think of the new administration the way they’ve thought about previous new administrations–same old same old, no real difference. Well, this time there is a real difference. The intricacies of how the federal government works are unknown to most people; who knew, for example, that the President is not supposed to contact the FBI about ongoing investigations? Well, those who remember Watergate know that’s the case, but a lot of people weren’t around during the Watergate debacle and don’t know. As far as Sessions is concerned, will we have another Mitchell-like situation where politics comes first and the country comes somewhere around fifth, with self-serving and staying out of prison somewhere in between? There are only two things standing between Trump and his puppet masters and the dictatorship they all envision for America–an election-averse Congress and and a divided Supreme Court. Congress, at least the Republican part, is torn between doing the best for the country and getting re-elected. The Court, one hopes, will do what’s right when faced with Trump-related issues and consider the Constitution rather than what’s best for corporate donors. I fear, as you do, that politics will prevail.

      1. sigrid28 February 26, 2017

        Great post. IMO, there is several more factors that stand “between Trump and his puppet masters and the dictatorship they all envision for America.” There is an extremely high level of incompetence: Trump’s monumental weaknesses as a leader, Bannon’s total ignorance of the invisible protocols that drive Washington, Priebus’s liabilities as Trump’s would-be apologist (I think he will be the first to turn on Trump to save himself), Gorsuch’s distaste for the overt ethical failings of Trump and his cronies, and the animosity this team has stirred up downstream at the Department of Justice, within the intelligence community, at the Department of State, and among the Fourth Estate. Think of this: If Trump truly threatens our freedoms instead of just screaming nonsense into his megaphone, a low-level employee at the IRS can potentially bring him down simply by “leaking” his federal tax returns–or his state tax returns–to the press. Such acts of conscience may not yet seem warranted as Trump and his cronies seem to be doing a very good job of incapacitating themselves and demonstrating the extent to which they are unqualified.

    2. sigrid28 February 26, 2017

      What keeps the majority of Americans, the media, Congress, and institutions of the government from standing up effectively against overt efforts by the Trump administration to pave the way for totalitarian fascism in America? I’m trying to decide if impatience like yours and mine stems from familiarity with governmental affairs that allows us greater insight into implications that may fly over the heads of most other Americans. With a population of over 300 million, it isn’t surprising that most Americans cannot find themselves on the same page. Yet we are all onboard this ocean liner that cannot be turned quickly or easily. I just don’t know whether that is a good or a bad thing, I cannot decide where time is on our side or the bumbling Trump administration with its scary intentions.

      I am slightly hopeful. Trump’s inept team hasn’t had time to put bad apples in most of its appointments yet, though it’s driven out some very good people. Some of the nominations the Senate obligingly rushed through may be held up once in office. For example, Scott Pruitt’s 7,000 pages of emails and answers to FOIA requests, which he refused to honor as Attorney General of Oklohoma, were just released last week, so whole teams of journalists are now examining them. That’ll take time, if they do it right. Democrats are doing a very good job of slowing down filling cabinet seats.

      Alongside exposing Trump and his team to scrutiny on these fronts, media organizations are delving into Trump’s own background and his ties to Russia. He won’t be able to stop that, as in journalistic terms, the blood is in the water on the subject. And there are some very proficient sharks Trump and his team have done little, effectively, to distract–a great deal to provoke.

      On the subject of ongoing investigations, there are the women who are suing Trump for sexual harassment, whose days in court will also be subject to media coverage and further investigation by journalists. I think NBC has tapes it could release documenting Trump’s behavior while host of “The Apprentice.”

      I thought media outlets did a good job of covering public unrest at town hall meetings with representatives and senators this week. The coverage made these gatherings seem exciting and relevant while the coverage of CPAC made it look programmed and subservient to Trump and his minions. Which audience members do you think young voters will want to emulate?

      I am so relieved the DNC is finally moving forward after the Finbulwinter it took to find a new chair. That was a self-inflicted wound by Democrats as that dragged on. The first stroke of relief was Perez nominating Ellison as Vice Chair. Now, if they don’t just get on with it, and capitalize on the enthusiasm visible at town halls throughout the nation, we are on a ship of fools, I’m afraid, and stuck here for a very long ride.

    3. Whittier5 February 26, 2017

      Actually, it was GHW who colluded with the Ayatollahs. Questionable whether St Ronnie was awake even then.

    4. marriea February 26, 2017

      Interestingly, more people who come here from the countries that Trump has banned knows more about our constitution than many Americans know.
      Years ago pupils had to know about our country.
      Now those subjects are not being taught in many of our routine public school systems.
      In the ‘better’schools they are, but in most school system throughout this country, not so much.
      And many parents aren’t making it happen neither.
      Now if you asked a kid about some movie, yeah, they know about that.
      But what’s important, nope.

    5. idamag February 26, 2017

      Yes

  2. yabbed February 26, 2017

    It’s far worse than Watergate because it is a question of sedition. Being traitorous to the United States can result in the death penalty.

    Reply
    1. Whittier5 February 26, 2017

      However, Nixon indulged in sedition prior – during the ’68 Primary. He sabotaged LBJ’s secret peace talks with Uncle Ho. Then, betrayed US troops and double-crossed the Vietnamese.

    2. Eleanore Whitaker February 26, 2017

      Because he has angered so many Americans, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the Supreme Court is already prepared to rule his election to office “illegitimate.”

      There is no proof the Rebublicans didn’t also rig the Electoral College votes. After all, the state legislators ARE the ones who appoint these electors. Are we to trust that Republican Legislators at the very last minute when they realized they couldn’t win the popular vote threw the electors a few bucks or intimidated them to vote for Trump?

      Remember, it was the 36 electoral votes from Texas that decided the election. Texas? One of the most viciously corrupt governments who has Big Oil always their biggest priority?

      1. stcroixcarp February 26, 2017

        The GOP bragged about how voter ID’s would reduce voter turn out. But I have a gnawing feeling that in states like Wisconsin, something more sinister happened. Why is Reincie Pubis the chief of staff. He is a Wisconsin lawyer whose last employer, Michael, Best Law firm is the Wisconsin Republican Party’s law firm This firm drew the gerrymandered legislative district maps that have given the state legislature to the republicans and the congressional district maps making Ryan and Duffy’s seats totally safe for the GOP. I believe that there was actual election fraud perpetrated by Walker’s goons.

        1. iamproteus February 26, 2017

          None of that would surprise me in the least!

      2. idamag February 26, 2017

        Exactly the way I see it.

    3. marriea February 26, 2017

      I wouldn’t want this fool being killed.
      I’d prefer to see him in Guamo.

      1. stcroixcarp February 26, 2017

        Where he cam meditate on his crimes.

  3. Joan February 26, 2017

    Though difficult, it is important that we focus on the big picture. Trump, the functionally illiterate and intellectually uncurious would be king, is not in charge. His nonsensical and factually devoid utterances are like squirrels scampering to distract the baying hounds of the fourth estate.
    The big picture is Russia and Bannon’s effort to dismantle our government while destabilizing the EU and NATO. Bannon is not Putin’s puppet, but he does see him as an useful ally in his efforts to bring about a “new world order”. Resist everything, but keep your eyes on Bannon.

    Reply
    1. Eleanore Whitaker February 26, 2017

      If you try to dismantle the government across Europe, what would make any of us believe Putin’s next target wouldn’t be the No. 1 World Leader, the U.S.A.?

      1. Joan February 26, 2017

        Putin is not our real problem, Bannon is. Currently each views the other as a useful ally. I am sure that each thinks they are “playing the other.” Putin’s end game is a strong and unified Russia, a world power, his to rape and pillage at will. Bannon’s end game is far more sinister – he wants a World War 3.

        1. stcroixcarp February 26, 2017

          Bannon’s speech to CPAC really scares me. He talked of deconstructing all existing governmental structures. I assume he means destroying the constitution itself. He wants to create a new world order (although he didn’t call it that.) This man is the reincarnation of Pol Pot. The ethnic cleansing of Mexicans and Muslims has begun. How soon will this turns into full fledged genocide, complete with mass graves and concentration camps.

          1. idamag February 26, 2017

            Before trump was installed by the hate mongers, bannon made the statement that war with China was inevitable.

          2. Joan February 28, 2017

            How soon depends on us, you and me. Few of Bannon’s plans can come to fruition without a complacent citizenary. Join a resistance group, support advocacy groups like ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Stay informed, involved and vocal. Very, very, yugely vocal.

            Climate Marches on 4-29. Let’s see if we can break women’s march attendance. Women’s marches also broke records for lack of violence, excellent organization and even got a gold star from cities for neatness, which always does count.

        2. Eleanore Whitaker February 27, 2017

          Joan I so agree about Bannon. He is like some Nazi relic throwback to Hitler. He is making behind the scenes decisions for Trump who is only more than thrilled to point and delegate.

          But, Trump’s Waterloo is upon him. If he takes that same combative attitude in front of both Dems and Republicans in his Congress speech on Tuesday, he will further anger the Dems and more than likely prove beyond doubt to Republicans his and Bannon’s end game is to smash the government.

          After all, Trump did say in his campaign speeches he would be a “different” kind of president. We all thought that just meant he had different ideas. Now we know he meant he would be president of a dictatorship.

    2. marriea February 26, 2017

      True

  4. FT66 February 26, 2017

    History always repeats itself. This is Watergate 2.0 as there are a lot of similarities and the pattern is the same.

    Reply
    1. Dan S February 26, 2017

      We’ve gone far beyond Watergate which was a botched raid on the DNC by Nixon cronies. When you have Russia hacking the DNC its sabotage by a foreign enemy. The fact it was condoned by Trump is why it’s now been dubbed Russiagate

      1. dbtheonly February 26, 2017

        Watergate was a lot more. I’d have to check, but I believe Our Gracious Host covered it in one of his books.

        But sabotage of an election by a foreign power is fairly close to it.

  5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 26, 2017

    Donald’s lack of intelligence in the purest sense of the word, and his indescribable lack of awareness of what has happened in the world around him for decades, have made him the perfect dupe for a set of circumstances to take place leading up to a repeat of Watergate. But this time, with ramifications going far beyond just damaging himself and heaping more dirt on the GOP.

    By Donald allowing Russia to be so emboldened as to interfere with the 2016 Election, Putin and his army of trolls have gained a foothold into the inner workings of an already hopeless morass of a system of governance, fueled by materialism. (Rex Tillerson will be an excellent inside source on Putin’s behalf).

    It stands to reason that there is no way democracy as implemented in America can be repaired—we’ll just limp along until the spiritual infrastructure as laid down by Baha’u’llah can be slowly integrated into the workings of governance across the planet in order to establish a new framework built on a solid foundation of “The Oneness of Humanity”.

    The best we can do for now is to expose Donald in broad daylight, and to a point that he can’t blame CNN, the NYTimes, or anyone else, for his predicament.
    Then, we’ll let Kellyanne, Spicer, and company try paint the disclosures as “Fake News”.

    Reply
    1. Dan S February 26, 2017

      In his twisted mind its fake news only if its unfavorable towards him

    2. marriea February 26, 2017

      No kidding.
      One of the last things America has going is it’s reputation as a leader country.
      I don’t think Putin is interested in America as a country he is trying to rule, but if he manages to bring the country down from it’s perch, then he would in effect destroy us as a ‘leader’ country.
      Putin quite obviously has something comprismising on Trump.
      It’s quite possible that it extends to his entire family, except for perhaps Tiffany and Barron.
      Maybe it is something so compromising that Trump is being blackmailed. under the threat of the murdering of his family.
      I don’t care.
      If that is the case he should have dropped out.
      I suspect that he owes Russia a lot of money.
      Is that money going to be recoupped via our national treasury.
      Is it possible for someone to tap into our treasury on line.
      Make America Great Again sound like a good slogan, but I think it is in reverse when it comes to Trump.
      I can’t help he is going to make America the laughing stock of the world.
      He’s already doing that with many countries.
      Are we going to become like some African countries are reported to be?

      1. dbtheonly February 26, 2017

        Breaking up an unified Europe that can resist Russian aggression. Hamstringing a potential US response. Potential Russian goals.

        1. marriea February 26, 2017

          If Putin is looking for help from this country to convince a unified Europe of anything, I don’t know why he picked a simpleton like Trump.
          Although Trump has the ‘title’of president, in his case I don’t now if he really has any sway with the country leaders who are watching him.
          They also have an interest in American politics, but I think that many knows who Trump is and isn’t.
          And I hope they collectively has done enough research on Bannon to know he can’t be trusted.

          1. dbtheonly February 26, 2017

            The Europe section is the interference in the German or French elections. With a strong USA, there are more ways to resist the Russians. Trump doesn’t have the gravitas, experience, or willingness to stand against the Russians.

            I’m glad I don’t live in the Baltics.

          2. marriea February 26, 2017

            We the people had better exercise our power at the polls and voting box both nationwide and statewide in November 2018. Otherwise we’ll only have ourselves to blame.
            If tjat makes me an elitist, do be it.

          3. stcroixcarp February 26, 2017

            Putin doesn’t give a flying fig about trump. He and bannon are the dynamic duo.

          4. idamag February 26, 2017

            If bannon ever gets control, he will be the United States’ answer to hitler.

          5. idamag February 26, 2017

            The “product” he picked has to be for sale. It had to be malleable.

      2. Jartin February 26, 2017

        It is all too late sorry. The laughing stock part is a done deal. Maybe you haven’t understood that this happened from the min Trump was put up as a candidate and cemented when he won.
        Most of the rest of the world thinks the US is a complete basket case and beyond redemption unless they can get rid of this crazy man and his sidekicks immediately (including all of those who lay down and let it all happen)

      3. idamag February 26, 2017

        Money. Russia loaned trump a lot of money.

  6. Whittier5 February 26, 2017

    We were beyond Watergate by Cleveland. We entered uncharterd waters early AM on Wed Nov 9. We have been in Bizarro World since Jan 20.

    Reply
    1. Dan S February 26, 2017

      It took about 4 years to create the Watergate crisis but it seems from the day Trump got in the race praising Putin I knew something was seriously off about him. As Trump would often say on the campaign trail, something is going on. Apparently he was talking about himself

      1. marriea February 26, 2017

        Well that was obvious.
        Trump is a projector.
        Everything he aimed at his opponents, he was talking about himslef.
        One can argue that that is how he kept his lies in place.
        To this day I don’t know what his supporters saw in him.
        He’s the most ignorant about American History of any president ever to helm the post
        As for his supporter, one would think they would desire a person of somewhat intellect, but what they did was choose a person after themselves.
        They chose a person who cheats, lies, say stuff out there that sticks.
        He told them they were dumb and stupid and they cheered.
        I don’t get it.
        My own view of Trump is that he is a con artist.
        And he is still in con mode.
        I just don’t get it.

        1. Dan S February 26, 2017

          I don’t understand the appeal of Trump either. His bragdaccio and constantly needing to be the center of attention is unbelievable. I never ever thought people would vote for someone who by all circumstances is a lousy businessman and very shallow. He literally Has the vocabulary of a 4th grader and never picks up a book unless his name is on it. He’s the opposite of King Midas where everything he touches turns to ???? It’s just a matter of time before it’s revealed The Emperor has no clothes

          1. marriea February 26, 2017

            Yeah.
            But he obviously represented waht all his many supporters wants in themsleves without all the work required.
            Trump is only where he is because of his father.
            And he learned a lot from his father in terms of cheating others.
            I have always seen him as a con artist.
            The first law of a con is to know your mark.

        2. Martha Bartha February 26, 2017

          You’re gonna get it!

        3. idamag February 26, 2017

          Like most criminals, he is not particularly brilliant. He pretended to read documents in front of a crowd. Twice he used excuses that 1. forgot his glasses. 2. the print was way too fine. Then when he did pretend to be reading, his eyes were focused on one point and never moved. He is in there because there are certain factions who wanted him in there and the people fell for all the lies. He might be in there to be useful to Putin. Crimea and Ukraine are oil rich countries. Russia has a lot of oil. Flynn was in the oil business. The nazis executed the intelligentsia. The smart people were enemies. The Republican Party did not have to execute so many. They used our schools to dumb down the masses. They played on the scared, the ignorant, the superstitious and the hate groups. What has developed is scary. Like hitler, they are suppressing the free press. People with oodles of money, who want all of it, bought up media outlets and used them for propaganda.

        4. Joan February 27, 2017

          They thought they were voting who they would rather grab a beer with. Even then, they should have known that by choosing Trump they would get stuck with the bar tab.
          I am very concerned as a Nevada resident that Trump will tank our economy which is heavily reliant on tourism and green energy jobs. Pretty soon a travel ban will not be necessary – no body from any country will want to come here.

          1. Sand_Cat February 27, 2017

            The part about getting stuck with the bar tab is a GREAT jab. Thanks for the laugh and for an otherwise interesting post!

          2. marriea February 28, 2017

            Tanking our economy is one of the least of our problem.
            You got a guy who was chasing a lion, then got unlucky enough to catch the damn thing, and is now in faking it mode trying to act like he’s a seasoned hunter when at best the only thing close to him being successful is successful at giving a big spin.
            He kind of remind me of an episode of The Twlight Zone in which there was the town liar played by Wm Devine who was always telling these whoopers.
            One his lies caught the hears of some inhabitants of outer space.
            The abducted him and he had to scramble to get out.
            Trump doesn’t know what the hell he is doing and is now in smarty mouth fakeode.
            He has a big projection problem, so right now, all the while he is talking about ‘fake’news, he’s eally talking about himself.
            I suspect he taked that phony feces to the Russians to the tunes more money than he could ever pay back, so now they are putting pressure on him to do something to benefit them as president.
            And yes, we are paying the tab.
            On the CBS evening news, they reported how much the Trump kids are costing us when they go out of the country on Trump business due to secret service details.
            And to think about the folks who complained about Obama’s vacation .
            The Trump’s haven’t ven taken a vacation yet, but those business trips are costing a fortune.
            Stupid Trumpeters.
            .

          3. Joan February 28, 2017

            Actually he has taken three long weekends at Mar-A-Largo which is absolutely not the Southern White House. He has already cost the Secret Service more in one month than Obama did in one year. The regional airport near his country club is losing thousands because they cannot use airspace while he is there. Businesses in and near Trump Towers also losing money since Mrs. Trump refusal to move to the White House.

          4. marriea February 28, 2017

            I know and his trolls are saying it’s OK because the Obamas took about two vacations a year.
            Trump is getting away with bloody murder,
            I wouldn’t be surprised if before it ends, he will have taken this country for a trillion bucks

      2. Eleanore Whitaker February 26, 2017

        Actually, it took 18 months of protestors outside the White House that Nixon loathed the sight of demanding his resignation. But the actual investigative process took less than two years.

      3. Martha Bartha February 26, 2017

        He said it was rigged! He knew!

      4. Sand_Cat February 27, 2017

        His speech announcing his candidacy should have shouted to the world that “seriously off” is the most polite and restrained description.
        Never in my life have I heard a more pathetically insecure and incompetent speech, full of false bravado and made-up facts.

  7. Eleanore Whitaker February 26, 2017

    How very different the Republican Party is today than pre WaterGate! As most recall, Nixon wasn’t forced to resign for being one of the Nixon “Plumbers.” He was forced to resign for LYING. Just like try fired Sally Yates when she first advised him and McConnell last October the election might be compromised by Russian Hackers, Nixon fired his AG, Archibald Cox. When the his bacon got too close to the flame, Nixon then tried to fire the AG who replaced Cox.

    From day one Rience Priebus of the RNC allowed Trump to run for president for THEIR Party, they had to know certain facts:
    1. That Trump would refuse to disclose his taxes. They had to know because this isn’t a guy whose lawsuits or federal fines were not public knowledge.
    2. That Trump would refuse to divest his business interests. They HAD to know Trump had business interests and did business with Russia.
    3. That Trump as a CEO who has lied his way out of trouble numerous times before was so accustomed to lying as a strategy to get out of court.

    Now the Republican Party wants educated people to believe that fine old corporate BS line: “We didn’t know.”

    The fact is it was their JOB to know.

    As for right wingers who are desperate to allow a liar and a corrupt, illegitimate lunatic to “smash the state” as Bannon stated is the Trump agenda, all right wing attempts to save Trump, Pence, McConnell, Ryan and Chaffetz butts is not going to happen. They are such “know it alls” when it came to Hillary and President Obama and now suddenly they didn’t know Trump play a U.S. election as dirty as he has always played every business deal of his lifetime? Trump cares little about anyone or anything. Win win, push the envelope, dangle the carrot is all he knows.

    Why in the hell would any sane person trust a nut like Trump who must always “win” to obey the rules of the FEC, the U.S. Constitution or U.S. laws. He has never done it before. He always rides on the rear of the saddle when it comes to obedience, honesty and truth.

    Reply
    1. FireBaron February 27, 2017

      Actually, Cox was the special prosecutor. His previous AG (John Mitchell) was already under indictment, and his successor and the assistant AG both were fired because they refused to fire Cox. Thus it fell to the third highest ranking member of the AG’s office, Robert Bork (yes, THAT Robert Bork) to do the firing. So the original meaning of being Borked had to do with his agreeing to fire someone for doing their job, not having his Supreme Court nomination shot down because his expertise was Tort and Finance law, not Constitutional Law.

  8. JDavidS February 26, 2017

    Welcome to the Trump clown car….What an incompetent bunch of boobs!

    Reply
  9. Martha Bartha February 26, 2017

    This will be bigger than Watergate! When do the hearings start? What are they waiting for?

    Reply
    1. Joan February 26, 2017

      The GOP in a little known committee peopled with safely seated GOP congressmen will vote not to investigate on Tuesday 2-28. It will be up to us to make sure it does not work.

      1. Martha Bartha February 26, 2017

        I heard there are 3 separate???? investigations going on. The FBI knows more but they don’t know when to release it!

        1. Joan February 26, 2017

          The FBI will neither confirm or deny that they are investigating, which is their policy. The FBI answers to the US Attorney General, Trump’s good friend Sessions. Trump’s chief of staff Rhince has already tried to get the FBI to back off.
          Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Congressional investigation committe chaired by Chaffetz has announced that they are investigating the US Park service for a congratulatory tweet, Planned to jail Hillary’s IT guy and will waste more millions with further investigations of Clinton’s e mails and Benghazi.
          These are the reasons that nothing less than an independent investigation will do.

          1. Martha Bartha February 26, 2017

            Maybe if they have just one more hearing on Benghazi, just one more, then maybe.????

          2. Joan February 26, 2017

            They already have the T- shirts and mug shots, not to mention the noose, be a real shame if they had to waste them.

          3. Martha Bartha February 27, 2017

            You are correct!????

  10. angryspittle February 26, 2017

    No need to distinguish malevolence from incompetence. They are malevolently incompetent. There is no distinction.

    Reply
  11. idamag February 26, 2017

    This is much worse than Watergate. We had a courageous and honest press then. We had some good people in Congress. We had (notice past tense) a democracy then.

    Reply
  12. FireBaron February 27, 2017

    To me, the funniest comment in this whole mess was Darryl Issa stating that as an Executive Branch Appointee and Teflon Donnie Campaign Supporter, Jeff Sessions would not be able to be impartial and should appoint a special prosecutor. Guess this is because Issa, who built his reputation trying to investigate every Democrat who ever held office (going back to James Madison), decided it wouldn’t look good for him to investigate Teflon Donnie’s crew. It may ruin his creds as a partisan investigator.

    Reply
  13. I of John February 27, 2017

    All the signs point out that this scandal (or these scandals) will prove to be far worse than Watergate. Worse yet for the GOP, Trump and crew are no where near as brilliantly deceptive as Nixon and his people were and there was only one leaker then. When the weight of all of this finally reaches critical mass, and it surely will, it will not be entirely difficult to pick out the guilty.

    Reply
  14. Sand_Cat February 27, 2017

    But who wants Pence for President?

    Reply
  15. spixleatedlifeform February 28, 2017

    Again I ask, “In what way has any of Trump’s actions differed from those of one in tertiary syphilitic dementia?”

    SPLF

    Reply
  16. James William Steven Parker November 3, 2017

    No, it’s not Watergate yet but, we should remember that Nixon didn’t resign until two years after the “third rate burglary.” There are comparisons though, for one thing the Russia scandal just won’t go away and for another every time someone is questioned under oath more questions are created than answered. I tell ya, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    https://newspuddle.com/bernstein-russia-scandal-feels-worse-than-watergate-in-many-many-ways/

    Reply

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