Saturday, July 15, 2017

Let's Face it...

This is stupid:

Frustrations at the White House are boiling over after another week that was consumed by the RussiaGate controversy.

The mishandling of the crisis centered on Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer.

Members of Team Trump acknowledge that the story is bad for the administration — and several blamed a White House communications staff that improvised responses on short notices.

Others complain that the failure has exacerbated the political damage. There is no consensus over who is to blame, with fingers being pointed in every direction.

Rinat Akhmetshin had not been named for several days after details of the encounter between Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya emerged. President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting.

Akhmetshin told the Associated Press that the meeting was less significant than reports suggest.

“I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest,” he told the news agency which first named him.

But to Trump allies, the news about Akhmetshin’s presence in the meeting was yet another epic fail of the administrations incomplete disclosure (hiding the details). “Obviously there are strategies that could have prevented this (epic fail of disclosure) from becoming a 10-day story,” said Barry Bennett.

But Bennett also argued that it has proven politically troublesome. “This is a meeting that they shouldn’t have had,” he said.

The disclosure of the meeting — and in particular an email chain between Trump Jr. and a music publicist — has attracted the attention of investigators working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is probing the Russian controversy.

One Republican with close ties to the White House lamented that the exchange “opens other doors” in the ongoing RussiaGate investigation. “It threatens the ability of an already dysfunctional White House to function because so many of them wonder if they need to get lawyers,” the source said.

The Trump campaign committee filing today (Saturday) showed that the committee paid $538,265 between early May and late June in legal fees to Jones Day.

The campaign committee did not respond to requests for comment about listed payments to the Trump Organization.

The legal outlays by Trump's campaign committee came as it has been repeatedly tapping Trump's small donor base for contributions, exhorting them in emails and text messages to give money to help the president fight the political establishment and “fake news.” (How many ways can you spell bullshit?)

Trump supporters poured $13.4 million into Trump’s three committees between April 1 and June 30. During the same period, that committee spent $4.37 million, including $677,000 on legal expenses.

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