Metzel Mikhail/TASS via ZUMA
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It’s Monday morning, so I might as well start off with where we are on the collusion witch hunt news, so that at least I can keep track of which new lies get told this week. Aaron Blake gets me up to speed:
The most notable portion of the interviews was when Giuliani rekindled the idea that collusion isn’t even a crime….“Hacking is the crime. The president didn’t hack. He didn’t pay for the hacking.”
He added on Fox: “I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime. Collusion is not a crime.” In case you forgot, Trump himself has been arguing for more than a year not that collusion wasn’t a crime, but that there simply was “no collusion.”
….Giuliani also, at one point, seemed to offer a very narrow denial of what happened with the Trump Tower meeting. While discussing Michael Cohen’s allegation that Trump knew about the meeting, Giuliani focused his defense on arguing not necessarily that Trump didn’t know about it — but that he wasn’t physically at the meeting. And he did it on both shows. “I’m happy to tell Mueller that Trump wasn’t at the Trump Tower meeting,” Giuliani said.
So: Trump didn’t pay the Russians to hack the DNC server and he wasn’t physically present at the Trump Tower meeting.
As far as I know, no one has ever accused him of either of these things, but now that he’s denied them I suppose my working assumption is that he did pay for the hacks and he was at the Trump Tower meeting. This is partly based on the fact that Rudy must have brought this up for some reason—presumably to get ahead of an accusation coming shortly?—but mainly it’s based on Trump’s Razor: everything Trump says is a lie until proven otherwise. I’ve rarely gone wrong applying Trump’s Razor to the various burblings that come out of the mouths of both Trump and his spokespeople, and I doubt it will steer me wrong this time.
One way or another, then, documents and/or testimony from Trump Org. folks will demonstrate that Trump paid to hack something; and also that he sat in on one or more of the “adoption” meetings with the Russians at Trump Tower. That’s my guess, anyway.