Rachel Maddow: Mike Pence Is Up To His Neck In The Russian Collusion Scandal, Too (VIDEO)

Here’s the lingering question Rachel Maddow wants an answer for: How could Vice President Mike Pence not have known that former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn was lying when he said he’d never had any contact with foreign governments?

Let’s backtrack for a moment. When he was interviewed by Bret Bair of Fox News on March 9, Pence said he had no idea Flynn had been a lobbyist for Turkey, assuring Baier:

“[H]earing that story — today is the first [he’s] hearing of it.”

It should be noted that Baier asked the question twice, just to be perfectly certain Pence understood him.

But as Maddow pointed out on her show Thursday evening:

“That cannot be true.”

Keep in mind that Pence was head of the Trump transition team after Chris Christie was tossed overboard by Trump. As such, it would have been his job to vet Flynn, and had he done so, he would have discovered the Turkey connection, Maddow rightly noted:

“As leader of the transition, he was notified in writing by members of Congress about Flynn’s apparent financial ties to the government of Turkey. The transition was also apparently notified twice by Flynn’s own lawyers about his financial relationship with the government of Turkey, but nevertheless, Vice President Mike Pence says he has no idea about any of that.”

So either Pence is completely incompetent, or he chose to only consider information that made Flynn look good, perhaps at the behest of Trump.

The truth is that Pence was notified on several occasions that Flynn could be a security risk due to his ties with foreign states, including Russia and Turkey, but he was still named to one of the highest positions in the White House. That does not speak well of Pence, and Maddow concluded the segment with this:

“Mike Pence’s role in the Mike Flynn scandal is flashing like a red beacon for anyone who sees him as the normal Republican in this setting.”

Starting to look like the coming impeachment may have to be a twofer.

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TRUTH: GOP Congressman Says House Intel Chair Devin Nunes ‘Answers To The President’

If you were under the impression that House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes is merely a tool of the White House with his attempts to shut down the Trump-Russia hearings, his midnight trips to the White House, and his refusal to share the “information” he says he received from a confidential source which supposedly proves Donald Trump was wiretapped, a fellow Republican seemed to confirm those suspicions while appearing on MSNBC Thursday afternoon.

Florida GOP Congressman Ted Yoho was talking to host Craig Melvin about Chairman Nunes, and gave a full-throated defense of the embattled Nunes, saying:

“I know Devin, (and) he’s a man of high integrity and character. I think he will do the right thing. If he feels he’s been compromised and needs to step aside, I’m sure he will. Until he makes that decision I’m not concerned with it.”

But then Yoho made a bizarre transition and seemed to forget that the Constitution divides the three branches of government–executive, judicial, and legislative–into equal but very separate entities which are meant to serve as a check and balance on the other, telling Melvin:

“You have to keep in mind who he works for. He works for the president and answers to the president.”

As a follow-up, Melvin asked Yoho if a member of Congress works for his constituents or the executive branch. To that, Yoho replied:

“You do both. But when in that capacity, if you’ve got information, I’m okay with what he did.”

Then Melvin asked Yoho about the attacks Trump made Thursday morning on the House Freedom Caucus, which Yoho happens to be a member of. Oddly, Yoho blurted out:

“I don’t work for the president, I don’t work for the (House) leadership. I work for the people that sent me here.

Yet the Florida Republican had said Nunes worked for Trump just seconds before, and the MSNBC host made sure and brought that up. Yoho commented:

“As a congressman, they work for their constituents, as a chairman of a committee, he has, okay?”

No wonder the Republicans in Congress can’t manage to get anything done. They don’t even know how the American system of government works!


BUSTED: Nunes Got His Information On ‘Surveillance’ Directly From The White House

As it turns out, we don’t need Devin Nunes to tell us the names of the people at the White House who gave him the information he obtained which he said suggested Donald Trump might have been surveilled as part of a larger investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Thanks to the New York Times, we now know that two senior Trump administration officials gave the information in question to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee:

  • Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council.
  • Michael Ellis, who worked as general counsel on Nunes’ House Intelligence Committee, and is now a lawyer working at the White House Counsel’s Office on national security issues.

This revelation raises new questions about how much interference the White House has been trying to provide as the House Intelligence Committee began their investigation last week. Trump and his senior advisers were reportedly shocked by what was revealed on the first day of the hearings last Monday. At that public hearing, FBI Director James Comey said he had no proof to support Trump’s wiretapping claim. Comey also announced that the FBI’s counterterror department was engaged in an active investigation into the Trump campaign and what contact they may have had with Russian operatives during the 2016 race for the White House.

The Times report also shows that Nunes is completely compromised and cannot serve on the committee in any capacity. He has repeatedly rejected calls from Democrats for him to recuse himself, but it would seem he now has now choice.

All of the information is very bad news for the Trump administration, which is clearly engaged in a massive cover up and attempt to blow up any investigation of their involvement with the Russians. If members of the White House Counsel’s office are now sharing information with Congressional investigators in an attempt to subvert the committee’s work, they could be guilty of obstruction of justice.

With each day, the corruption from this White House grows and metastasizes.

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The 35 Percent Approval POTUS Just Threatened Other GOPers If They Don’t ‘Get On The Team’

Donald Trump’s approval rating currently stands at 35 percent. Only 35 percent of Americans approve of the job this idiot is doing, and who can blame them? The same tracking poll from Gallup shows that fully 56 percent of those surveyed disapprove of Trump’s performance as the illegitimate head of state.

But despite this, Trump thought it would be a great idea to go on Twitter Thursday morning and send out this threat to House Republicans in the so-called Freedom Caucus:

The Freedom Caucus, you may recall, was the group of Republicans who failed to get on board and pass the deeply flawed Trump/Ryan healthcare bill which would have led to at least 24 million Americans losing their health insurance. These far right members of the GOP didn’t dig in their heels because they give a damn about anyone. Instead, they objected to the Trumpcare bill because it was too generous and offered tax credits to help pay for coverage.

And now we have a man who is slipping in the polls attempting to issue threats. Apparently the real president, Steve Bannon, hasn’t bothered to inform his Oval Office puppet that no Republican is going to be afraid of a clown who has a 35 percent approval rating and is under investigation for being a traitor.

So does Trump’s tweet mean he will be urging primary challengers for Republicans who don’t do as he says? A CNN reporter asked that very question of spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her reply is as opaque as everything we get from the press office these days:

As usual, Trump is trying to deflect attention away from something else. Today that something is the first day of hearings by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Trump knows all kinds of bad headlines could be on the way as a result of the committee. He cannot deny the evidence against him, so he decided he’d try and lash out at others. His own impotence must be eating him alive.

h/t Raw Story

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Yes, The White House And GOP Conspired To Shut Down The Trump-Russia Investigation–Here’s The Proof

The time has come to tear the paper off the package of excrement Donald Trump’s White House and Republican leadership in the House of Representatives decided to try and sell to the American people instead of giving us an actual investigation into the connection between Trump and Russia.

Thanks to some excellent reporting from the Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, we now know that the administration, working hand in hand with House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, decided last Monday–the same day FBI Director James Comey testified there had been no wiretapping of Trump and that an active investigation of the Trump-Russia matter was underway–to shut down the hearings because they feared more damaging revelations would come to light.

Lizza reports:

“Since [Monday, March 20]  Nunes and the White House have kicked up a cloud of peripheral issues that have distracted attention from Comey’s testimony and that of Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency; Nunes and the Trump Administration have essentially shut down the investigation.”

As for proof of direct coordination between the White House and Nunes, we also have confirmation of that:

“The White House and Nunes were clearly coordinating this strategy. A few days before the hearing, Trump seemed to offer a preview of it. In an interview on Fox News, the President said that he ‘will be submitting things’ to Nunes’s committee very soon,’ and ‘perhaps speaking about this next week,’ adding that ‘you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.’”

That prediction from Trump played out exactly as he had described when, as part of the March 20 hearing, Nunes had this to say in his opening statement:

“Were the communications of officials or associates of any campaign subject to any kind of improper surveillance? The Intelligence Community has extremely strict procedures for handling information pertaining to any U.S. citizens who are subject even to incidental surveillance, and this committee wants to insure all surveillance activities have followed all relevant laws, rules, and regulations.”

From that point forward, the majority of the questions asked by Republicans on the committee also dealt with the predicate Nunes had laid down from the start: Trump was surveilled. This hearing is not about Trump-Russia, it’s about the lie Trump told which we intend to try and make a reality.

As you might expect, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are extremely frustrated and suspect the reason for delay is to try and cover Trump’s tracks. As Connecticut Democrat Jim Himes noted that if indeed the White House was fearful of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ testimony–scheduled for this week–and told Nunes to block her, that makes him suspicious:

“Any blocking of anyone or anything simply stokes suspicion of what the Administration might be hiding.”

And yet when Nunes was called on to recuse himself from further participation in the committee’s activities, his spokesman commented:

“He’s not recusing. It’s all just politics.”

If it’s all just politics, then why the delays, why the lying, why the obvious coordination between Trump and Nunes?

It’s not politics. It’s Republican treason.

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