As The Donald Turns
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner at the National Building Museum on March 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. The House vote to repeal Obamacare is expected on March 23. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images)

So much going on in “Donald Land” this week, that we are back with a new episode of As The Donald Turns; “Hear This.” The staff has heard so much that we can hardly contain ourselves, so let’s get started.

  • The most prominent news this week, and it’s early in the week, is the congressional hearings into Donald/Russia. The House Intelligence Committee had its first day of hearings into the issue with witnesses, FBI Director James Comey and National Security Director Admiral Mike Rogers. The two heads of the committee, Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) made their opening speeches and then turned it over to the committee members for questions. Let us paraphrase for you how the hearing went from the Republican side, as we use the exchange between Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Director Comey:
    • Comey: So we find no evidence that the Obama administration ordered any surveillance on Trump Towers.
    • Gowdy: Is leaking information a felony?
    • Comey: Yes. Anyway, we have an ongoing investigation into Russia’s role in disrupting the 2016 presidential election.
    • Gowdy: Do you go to jail for felonies like leaking information?
    • Comey: Yes. We also have evidence that Wikileaks got its information from Russia and Vladimir Putin tried to tilt the American presidential election.
    • Gowdy: How long do you go to jail for leaking information?
    • Comey: It depends. We are also continuing our investigation into Trump associates that may have had inappropriate ties to Russia.
    • Gowdy: What do the jails look like when information leakers go there?
    • Comey: May I be excused for the rest of the hearing?
  • Clearly we exaggerate just a little to make the point…but not too much.
    • Comey/Rogers testified that they have not seen any proof that the Obama administration had anything to do with any surveillance on Donald or his towers.
    • Comey/Rogers testified that there is an ongoing investigation into ties and communication between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
    • Comey/Rogers testified that Wikileaks leaker Julian Assange was in fact getting his information from Russia, via a third party, thus Assange’s denial that he was working with Russia.
    • Comey/Rogers confirmed that part of the ongoing investigation is with regards to whether there was any coordination between Trump campaign surrogates and Russia.
    • The GOP wanted to focus exclusively how General Michael Flynn’s name became public after he had  inappropriate conversations with the Russians while a private citizen, working on Donald’s campaign; all the while also working as foreign operative for the Turkish government….and who was going to go to jail for leaking Flynn’s inappropriate and possibly illegal activities.
    • Gowdy read a list of seven former Obama staffers who might have access to the leaked information, even though he had no evidence any of them were involved in any way. It was very “1950’s” of him.
  • Clearly the best analysis of the long day of hearings belonged to Donald, himself. Yes, he was live tweeting during the hearings…and using the official POTUS account to do so. Now, as my friend Steve Weakley points out, it was likely someone else doing the tweeting on Donald’s behalf, because there was video from the hearings embedded in the tweets and we doubt Donald has the technical chops to pull that off.

President Trump‏Verified account @POTUS  Mar 20

“ The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process.”

He posted that during the hearings. The thing is, it is completely false. Comey/Rogers told the committee that there was no manipulation of actual voting booths or computers, but that for months prior to the election, Russia tried to influence the election against Hillary and for Donald. Donald’s tweet was so asinine that it was brought up during the hearings and Comey/Rogers reiterated what they had already testified. The net/net of their testimony was clear: Putin hated HRC so much that, on the assumption of her winning the election, he tried to do things that would undercut her administration. Once it became clear that Donald had a chance, they worked to assist Trump. As Comey said, Russia’s actions were loud.

  • Donald also would not let go of the Obama conspiracy theory. He tweeted this during the hearings:

President Trump‏Verified account @POTUS  Mar 20

“ FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia.”

It’s true. Comey did brief then-President Obama. You know who else he briefed? President-elect Trump.

  • Our favorite press savant, Sparkle Pony Spicer came on with the most orchestrated timing. During the break in the hearings he began his press briefing with the notes for the day. He dragged them on for several minutes until the hearings resumed on Capitol Hill, and then he was ready to take questions from the media with the hope that everyone was going back to following the hearings and not listening to the briefing. Nice try, Sparkle Pony. Our staff can multi task like no other. He was asked if, since Comey/Rogers said there is no involvement by the Obama administration, Donald is prepared to retract his claim. Spicer said no because the investigation is ongoing…..even though they have cleared the Obama issue. Sparkle Pony also said the ongoing investigation into Trump associates was about people who had no real or significant role in the campaign, “like Paul Manafort.” Wait. What??? Paul Manafort??? You mean the guy who was chairman of Donald’s presidential campaign for several months before his ties to Russia and a Ukranian despot were uncovered? That Paul Manafort? That small time guy?
  • Spicer also tried to claim that the part regarding Donald, his staff and the campaign was over, (even though Comey/Rogers said it was not), the Obama portion of the investigation is over, (even though Comey/Rogers implied it probably is) and that it was time to move on beyond the Russia story. Sure, except that there are more hearings next week, and then of course come the Senate hearings after that. Despite Congressman Nunes pleading with Comey/Rogers to hurry up and finish, there is no indication we are anywhere near the end of this drama.
  • Speaking of wrapping this up, Fox has apparently wrapped up “so called Judge” Andrew Napolitano. Trump’s conspiracy theory about the British helping Obama wiretap him, came from an unfounded moment of verbal diarrhea from Napolitano on Fox. The British said it was hogwash. Comey/Rogers said it was totally untrue. Napolitano has been suspended from Fox indefinitely. Look for him on RTV (Russia TV) with Larry King any day now.
  • The Three People on a Sofa Show tweeted a recap of the hearings. Their entire effort consisted of showing Comey saying he could not answer questions that had to do with the ongoing investigation. It was probably hard for them to get much info from the hearings because Fox was the one network that did not broadcast any of it live.

There is a lot more beyond the hearings this week. Sean Spicer makes up stories as he goes along. A politician with a 37% approval rating threatens other politicians. A Donald department head announces he will skip the biggest meeting of his new job. Donald has thoughts on the NFL. A judge disparages Donald. This our way of saying we will back sooner rather than later with a new episode of As The Donald Turns.
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