Why the Latest Russia News Paints sn Increasingly Grim Picture for Trump

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Why the Latest Russia News Paints sn Increasingly Grim Picture for Trump

David P. Dillard
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Why the Latest Russia News Paints sn Increasingly Grim Picture for Trump

By Aaron Blake

June 7, 2017 at 6:30 AM

Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/07/
why-the-latest-russia-news-paints-an-increasingly-grim-picture-for-trump/
?utm_term=.d1e378433f7c

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/y75hk6bt

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As top intelligence and law enforcement officials testify in front of
Congress this week, one big question looms: Did President Trump attempt to
obstruct justice in the Russia investigation?

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snip

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The Post's Adam Entous reported late Tuesday night that Trump in March
asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to intervene in the
Russia investigation by asking then-FBI Director James Comey to back off
the agencys focus on Michael Flynn. Coats reportedly told associates about
Trump's request shortly afterward.

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This, of course, is not the first time Trump has been reported to have
made apparently unsavory requests of Coats and other top officials (up to
and including, most notably, Comey). The Post had previously reported
Trump approached Coats and National Security Agency head Michael Rogers in
a failed effort to get them to say publicly that there was no evidence of
collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. It has also been reported
that Trump approached Comey in February about ending the Flynn
investigation, according to contemporaneous notes kept by Comey.

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But here's why the latest news is particularly bad for Trump: It erases
any idea that the Comey request was just a one-off. We have now learned
that Comey isn't the only top official whom Trump approached in an effort
to free Flynn from his investigation.

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snip

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The question from there becomes why  why did Trump feel so strongly about
getting Flynn off the hook? And there are basically two good answers to
that question:

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     Trump is excessively loyal to Michael Flynn, to a fault

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     Trump fears what could come of the Flynn investigation

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snip

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Put plainly: The president known for his "You're fired" catchphrase as a
reality TV star hasn't exactly shown that excessive loyalty is among his
chief faults. Could he perhaps be uniquely loyal to Flynn for some reason?
It's possible. But against this backdrop it would seem odd that Flynn
would be the one Trump aide whom the president seems to be unwilling to
toss under the bus when it made sense to, politically speaking. (The White
House has been quick to distance itself from almost every other aide
facing scrutiny in the Russia probe.)

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snip

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The most charitable reading of all of this is that an amateur
politician-president driven by personal loyalty and ignorance went too far
in trying to get intelligence officials to vouch for him and help out a
friend. But Tuesday night's report is the latest brushstroke in what,
through Trump's own doing, looks more and more like a cover-up.


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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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