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ryan teague beckwith @ryanbeckwith
, 32 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Here's every line of argument that Trump and his allies have made about the Russia investigation:
1. Russia didn't meddle in the 2016 election. "I don’t believe they interfered."
2. Someone meddled, but it might not be Russia. "It may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer."
3. Someone meddled, but we'll probably never know who. "If you don’t catch a hacker, okay, in the act, it’s very hard to say who did the hacking."
4. Someone meddled, but it's Obama's fault they weren't stopped. "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act?"
1b. Another example: "Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it."
5. Russia may have meddled, but the Trump campaign did not collude with them. "The Russian 'hoax' was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!"
6. Democrats made up the idea that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia as an excuse for losing the election. "It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won."
3b. Another example, re: Putin: "Somebody did say if he did do it, you won’t have found out about it. Which is a very interesting point."
7. The "fake news media" made up the idea that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. "Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President."
6b. Another example: "It's a Democratic hoax that was brought up as an excuse for losing an election that, frankly, the Democrats should have won."
8. A "criminal deep state" in the government made up the idea that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam."
9. The Trump campaign had no contact with foreign governments during the campaign. "It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign." (Hicks)
6b. A variation: Democrats and Republicans made it up: "Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans."
10. The Trump campaign had a brief meeting with a Russian but it was about adoption. "We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago." (Trump Jr.)
11. The meeting with the Russian was supposed to be about dirt, but that's standard. "Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen." (Trump Jr.)
11b. Another example: "Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!"
12. Democrats were spying on the Trump campaign to help Clinton. "He was only there to spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win."
13. Any contacts with the Russians were by low-level volunteers. "Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George."
14. Paul Manafort was not the campaign manager during the election. "He was replaced long before the election. You know that, right? He was replaced long before the election."
14b. Another example: "He was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time, relatively short period of time."
7b. Another example: "Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!"
15. Mueller's team is made up of Democrats." "At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP!"
16. Mueller's team has not found evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice. "They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction."
17. Obstruction of justice charges are a setup and a trap by Mueller's team. "There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap)."
18. The Mueller probe is an unconstitutional intrusion on presidential powers. "The questions are an intrusion into the President’s Article 2 powers under the Constitution to fire any Executive Branch Employee."
18b. Variant from outside the Trump Administration: The Mueller probe is unconstitutional because of the Appointments Clause.
19. The Mueller probe is a waste of taxpayer money. "This soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt."
19b. Another example: "This investigation from the Mueller team has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to already demonstrate what the president and I have said from the very beginning: There is no collusion." (Lewandowski)
19c. Another example: "If you want to talk about wasting tax money … talk about the entire investigation as a whole with this president and collusion." (Sanders)
20. The Mueller probe began because of an illegal leak (of the Comey memo). "An investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information."
21. You can't commit obstruction of justice if there wasn't an underlying crime. "It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened!"
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