Trump cherry picks Cohen ‘truth’ from ‘lies’, ignores chain of collusion

This is very funny.

Newshub:  Trump says Cohen telling the truth about collusion

US President Donald Trump has criticised his former lawyer Michael Cohen for lying in testimony to Congress but found reason to praise him, too, for not alleging Mr Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in 2016.

Mr Trump, speaking at a news conference in Vietnam after failing to achieve a peace deal with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, called the blockbuster hearing back in Washington “fake” and said it should not have been scheduled during his trip.

“He lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn’t lie about one thing – he said no collusion with the Russian hoax,” Mr Trump said.

“I wonder why he didn’t lie about that too like he did about everything else. I was actually impressed that he didn’t say, ‘well, I think there was collusion for this reason or that’. He didn’t say that.”

And even with this cherry picking Trump is making a false claim – “he said no collusion with the Russian hoax” is false. Cohen said he hadn’t seen evidence of Trump colluding with Russia. Cohen’s testimony:

“Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.”

That’s quite different to “he said no collusion with the Russian hoax”. Trump made that up, as is his habit.

‘Collusion’ seems to have become the key phrase in discussing the Mueller investigation (more about that soon). Trump and most others don’t yet know exactly what Mueller has discovered. But there is evidence of a chain of collusion.

Trump obviously colluded with Cohen, with Paul Manafort, with Roger Stone. The first two have been convicted in relation to that, Stone is still being processed through court.

Stone colluded with WikiLeaks (with Trump’s knowledge according to Cohen), and it is claimed that WikiLeaks colluded with Russia.

Fox News:  Michael Cohen testifies about Trump, Roger Stone-WikiLeaks plot at House hearing

Fox News:  Cohen lobs bombs at Trump during fiery hearing

He waded into the investigation over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, accusing Trump of knowing that an adviser, Roger Stone, was reaching out to WikiLeaks about the publication of stolen Democratic National Committee emails during the campaign. Trump has denied advance knowledge.

On Wednesday, Stone denied the claim, telling Fox News: “Mr. Cohen’s statement is not true.” WikiLeaks also released a statement saying, “WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has never had a telephone call with Roger Stone.”

We will find out more about all this in time. But I think there is another issue as  important that Mueller is investigating – did Russia interfere in the US election.

Cohen claims that Trump didn’t think he would win the GOP nomination, and didn’t think he would win the election. Trump was trying to leverage his campaign to advance a hotel project in Moscow – it was mostly business he was after.

I suspect that Russia realised this and suckered Trump – they played him with the hotel deal carrot, and used Trump to put the election campaign into turmoil, and helping Trump get elected was a way to discredit the presidency and the US and democracy.

So far I think Russia has been quite successful. Trump has floundered in a game he was unfamiliar with.

Trump and his associates have done some stupid things in all of this, but I think the stupidest may turn out to be being suckered by the Russians.

There’s a lot more complexity to this than ‘did Trump collude with Russia,’