They never offered an explanation of why they did it. They just denied it. As if they knew it was wrong.
“…pure obfuscation…..That’s absurd. And, you know, there’s no basis to it.”
“I can’t think of bigger lies....These lies and the perpetuating of that kind of nonsense to gain some political capital is just outrageous.”
Trump himself, famously, on 27 July 2016:
“I mean I have nothing to do with Russia. I don’t have any jobs in Russia. I’m all over the world, but we’re not involved in Russia.”
Trump another time, on 24 October 2016:
“I have nothing to do with Russia, folks, I’ll give you a written statement.”
The probably-cooperating with-Mueller Hope Hicks, on 11 November 2016:
“It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”
I'm going to go on, but you can see the theme here. These are LIES. Bald-faced, flat-out lies. About Russia. Denials about Russia. Again and again and again.
Convos between Trump team & Russians "never happened. I hear people saying it like it’s a fact on television. That is just not only inaccurate and false, but it’s dangerous.”
Trump himself, via tweet, on 11 January 2017:
“Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”
[This is laughably false]
Manafort's selection and Flynn's transition team boss Mike Pence, on 15 January 2017:
“Well of course not. I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”
7 February 2017, Trump (tweet):
“I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy…”
16 February 2017, Trump:
“I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.”
Here's @reince on 19 February 2017:
“I can assure you & I have been approved to say this: that the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that that is not only inaccurate, but it’s grossly overstated & it was wrong. And there’s nothing to it.”
20 February 2017, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy White House press secretary:
Trump/Russia is “a non-story because to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place, so it’s hard to make a comment on something that never happened.”
LIE! BIG LIE! BY THE QUEEN OF LIES!
26 February 2017, Trump (tweet):
“Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!”
THIS IS A LIE.
These were all lies—the same big lie, repeated over and over. The Russia Lie.
Trump has employed the Big Lie technique for years—lying regularly about his wealth, his fitness, his sexual prowess, and so forth.
But this wasn’t about the size of his bank account, his good cholesterol levels, or his penis. This was about national security.
And yet still, Trump and his minions went on TV, took to Twitter, stood behind the podium in the White House Press Room, and lied egregiously to the American people, over and over and over and over.
In July of 2017, when the press got wind of the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian attorney that took place the previous June, the Big Lie became impossible for any thinking person to believe. Yet even with this bombshell, the denials continued.
Junior put out a statement on 8 July 2017—one his father the president helped him craft, with help from his communications director Hope Hicks and others.
The statement WAS A LIE.
And Hope Hicks will likely get indicted for it.
That’s not a joke. That’s not me being cute. That was the actual email subject line.
And it appeared in the inbox of Junior, and also of Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. Astute readers will observe that the word “adoption” is nowhere to be found in the subject line. Nor was it in the email exchange itself, which Junior published himself on Twitter.
Again, this happened in July of 2017—more than a year after that Trump Tower meeting. Until then, for months and months, it was a string of denials, the Big Russia Lie repeated ad infinitum.
Again: It took a major newspaper threatening to publish emails proving Russian contact to finally get the Trumps to cop to the truth.
Maybe this could be forgiven if the Trump Tower meeting were unique—if that rendezvous had been the only time Donald & Co. powwowed with the Russians. But this was not the case.
In case you were wondering if it’s standard operating procedure for presidential candidates to meet with Russians: it isn’t.
Hillary Clinton did not meet with the Russians during the campaign.
Barack Obama did not meet with the Russians during the campaign.
Why did Trump meet with the Russians during the campaign? And why did he lie about it? Why is he STILL lying about it?
I call on his supporters to answer that question...and w/o mentioning Hillary, the Deep State, tarmac meetings, or FBI lover texts, none of which matter.