Although CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin claimed on Thursday that it was the first day that he thought that President Donald Trump might not finish his term, his colleague at the network, Chris Cillizza, confessed on the same day that Trump is right about no collusion. So game over much to poor Toobin’s disappointment, right? Well, not quite.
Even though Cillizza admitted that there is no actual proof of collusion, his caveat is there a lot of smoke. Therefore let the pointless investigations that will probably find only more proofless smoke continue:
NO COLLUSION, Donald Trump will tell you — or, really, anyone — if you ask about the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the possibility that members of the Trump orbit colluded with the Russians to help him win.
And Trump is right! There is no definitive proof that he colluded with the Russians to throw the election his way. There’s no smoking gun.
So besides Toobin, could you also clue your boss Jeffrey Zucker as well as many of your CNN colleagues from Wolf Blitzer to John King in about this? Well, the one thing that might save Cillizza from a pink slip is his smokey hypothesis. Smoke. No proof but lots of smoke (click “expand”):
But, boy oh boy, is there a lot of smoke. So much smoke that it is choking the Trump administration’s ability to do almost anything. Consider what we learned Thursday morning when former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the nature and length of his interactions with Russians regarding the potential construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Cohen had previously said that conversations about the possibility of a Trump-named development in Moscow ended in January 2016 — coinciding with the beginning of the presidential primary season. On Thursday, Cohen admitted he had lied about that timing — he had multiple conversations about the project until June 2016, briefed members of the Trump family about the progress of those conversations and even agreed to travel to Russia to discuss the project and raise the possibility of Trump doing the same.
Cohen said in court that he made those false statements in order to be consistent with Trump’s political messaging and to be loyal to Trump.
That information runs directly counter to Trump’s repeated assertions during the 2016 campaign — and after he became president — that he had no business dealings in Russia.
Uh-oh! It doesn’t look good for Trump according to Cillizza except that he contradicts himself just a few paragraphs later:
Now, even in light of Cohen’s plea deal Thursday, Trump wasn’t outright lying in any of those quotes. He didn’t have active business dealings with Russia when he spoke in July 2016. But man, he is cutting it very, very close. If he’s not outright lying, then he’s not telling anything close to the full truth either.
So basically Cillizza is just blowing smoke at us.
Exit question: How long before Cillizza, in the face of liberal protests, is forced to recant on his admission that there is no definitive proof of Trump-Russia collusion?