Investigators asked one witness when Trump became serious about running for President, a person familiar with the matter said, adding that investigators seemed very interested in when Trump actually decided to run and how that coincided with his business ventures.
The source said the witness told Mueller’s team his impression was that Trump was serious about running back in 2014. Trump tweeted earlier this month that he “didn’t know” that he was going to run for president in 2014.
This witness was also asked whether Russians had been seen in the office at Trump Tower New York prior to 2015. The answer was no.
Questions have also touched on the possibility of compromising information that Russians may have or claim to have about Trump, according to two sources familiar with the matter. That subject matter echoes claims in a controversial dossier written by a former British spy who was paid by an opposition research firm underwritten by Trump’s Democratic opponents.
The pee tape is real:
A second area of focus was what happened during the event. The source said questions also focused on meetings Trump had with Russian business people or government officials, leading the source to believe the investigators were probing the possibility of “kompromat,” or compromising material, on Trump.
Along these lines, the source said, investigators were interested in logistics surrounding Trump’s hotel room in Moscow: Who was there? Who would have access to it? Who was in charge of security? Who was moving around with him during the trip?
Maybe this woman was around.
About two years after the pageant, Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen began negotiations with another Russian company for a Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump even signed a non-binding letter of intent in October 2015. But Cohen says he cut off negotiations in January 2016. One of the sources said Mueller’s team has also asked about this project, in addition to the potential Agalarov deal.
Trump did not mention during the presidential campaign that his company explored these two business deals in Russia. Instead, he insisted that he had “nothing to do with Russia.” Even when talking about his past dealings with Russians — like the Miss Universe pageant — Trump never referred to the prospective deal that fell through a few weeks before the Iowa caucuses.
Another example of the casual lying Trump engages in on a daily basis.
Today’s entry in the “Trump is human garbage” department comes to us from The New York Times:
Samantha Fuentes, who was shot in both legs during the Parkland assault, said she had felt no reassurance during a phone call from the president to her hospital room last week.
“He said he heard that I was a big fan of his, and then he said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours too.’ I’m pretty sure he made that up,” she said in an interview after being discharged from the hospital.“ Talking to the president, I’ve never been so unimpressed by a person in my life. He didn’t make me feel better in the slightest.”
We elected our worst person to the presidency.
In a New Yorker article reviewing the Mueller indictments, an important note about Americans’ inability to correctly understand the news they’re reading:
The power of news illiteracy. At the heart of the Russian fraud is an essential, embarrassing insight into American life: large numbers of Americans are ill-equipped to assess the credibility of the things they read. The willingness to believe purported news stories, often riddled with typos or coming from unfamiliar outlets, is a liability of today’s fragmented media and polarized politics. Even the trolls themselves were surprised at what Americans would believe. According to the indictment, in September, 2017, once U.S. authorities had begun to crack down on the fraud, one of the defendants, Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina, e-mailed a family member, saying, “We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity (not a joke). So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues.” She went on, “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”
From Axios this morning:
- We’ve only been reading about Mueller’s interviews with Trump associates and White House officials — because these are the folks that Washington reporters talk to.
- But Mueller has been picking apart complicated, secretive and well-funded Russian networks that could only have originated from the Kremlin.
- Mueller’s indictments are not the work product of some frivolous fishing expedition to indict Trump, as some of Trump’s conservative allies have claimed.
- This shows that Trump was wrong when he said during a debate that the DNC hacker “could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” It’s not fake news.
- This shows Mueller has been doing consequential work, not just sniffing around the White House looking for an excuse to indict Trump.
- President Trump is either woefully ignorant, or deliberately lying, about the scope of Kremlin influence. This was a major Kremlin operation.
Those comments during the first debate that the DNC hacker “could have been somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds” were so deeply disingenuous at the time (he was receiving intelligence briefings then, so he knew better). Now that he’s president, he’s violating his oath of office if he does nothing to respond.
The essence of Trump though is that he only ever cares about himself. In the context of Russia (assuming he’s innocent of any collusion and assuming he’s not being blackmailed or otherwise unduly pressured by Russia), what that means is avoiding accepting any conclusion or taking any action that calls into question the legitimacy of his election.