Let’s face it. Buzzfeed is garbage. It’s putting a lot of money and effort into building a respectable news outlet, but they’re still so entrenched in their old ways of “Which Disney Princess are you?” They’re also engorged on far-left progressive propaganda. But the article they published last night is a real bombshell and if true, it means a changing story line in the Trump presidential saga.
Here’s the background for those who were busy watching NCIS last night:
President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.
Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.
If this were just Michael Cohen’s word as the sole source of the accusation, I’d blow it off. But the article claims there are internal emails, texts, and other documents corroborating the claim. If those documents link directly back to the President and implicates him in ordering Cohen to lie, then this is a serious issue for the President. More serious than Paul Manafort. More serious than Walmart bags of money.
After three years of hearing how bombshells are about to sink the President, this one is actually able to do it if it turns out to be true.
The question that must be answered if the claims are corroborated is whether or not Republicans will continue to back him. Will his base? Many, perhaps even most will find justification to continue supporting him because they’ve already gone this far. They’ve already claimed his demonstrably poor judgment and immoral lifestyle were not reasons to stop supporting him, so this would just carry on with the same theme.
Would Republican lawmakers support him? This one is a bit trickier. There would obviously be plenty of Republicans on Capitol Hill who have been dying to have an excuse to oppose him. Some have been opposing him from the start. But what about his fans on Capitol Hill? What about members of his cabinet who must choose how badly the ordered lie will change their perception of the boss?
The right answers
For now, the right thing to do is sit back and wait for corroboration of the story by better news outlets who aren’t just referencing Buzzfeed or confirmation of its accuracy from Robert Mueller’s investigation. As I Tweeted earlier:
Acceptable: "Buzzfeed is notoriously bad at the news, so don't assume the story's accurate until evidence or Mueller's investigation corroborates."
Unacceptable: "Doesn't matter if he did…" or "What about when Hillary…" or "What about when Obama…" or "It's 4D chess"
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) January 18, 2019
IF it’s true (and at this point it’s still a big IF), then it’s time to circle the wagons around Pence. I know that’s a tough pill for many to swallow, but note that I didn’t suggest Republicans should abandon Trump completely. But ordering a subordinate to lie to Congress to improve chances of winning a presidential election is about as impeachable as it gets.
This is why it’s imperative that they go all-in behind Pence. He wouldn’t be my first choice for President and definitely not my choice to be the 2020 nominee, but they base cannot be given time to scatter if the President goes through a prolonged investigation that sudden;y has wings.
Any other move would crush the party so badly, it would take three or four election cycles to recover, if they’re able to recover at all.
BUT, it’s probably all fake news
Rumors were spreading last night that Vice President Mike Pence and Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after Buzzfeed contacted the White House for a comment five hours before the story dropped. It’s noteworthy that there was no response.
At this point, only the President can legitimately speculate about whether or not there really is documentation that ties him back to an order for Cohen to lie. He may not even remember completely if he’s in the chain or not. BUT, if this is a complete fabrication, then he’ll be going full speed ahead with his “fake news” chant and when the dust settles, he’ll be vindicated.
There are already concerns the story is not going to be corroborated.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) January 18, 2019
At this point, all we have are hypotheticals. If the story’s real, it’s time to turn to Pence. If they story is false, as is likely the case, then all those chants of “fake news” in the past will sound like crickets compared to the war Republicans should wage against Buzzfeed.