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Two Points to Ponder Flynn and Manafort

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Two Reason's that show No Russian Collusion between Russia and Trump


This two articles are on Real Clear Politics this morning.


On Friday's edition of the nationally syndicated Mark Levin Show, Mark argued that the guilty plea from Mike Flynn proves one thing: There are no charges of collusion with the Russians.


MARK LEVIN: So to recap, today's news: There is no collusion with the Russians. No collusion today, no collusion yesterday, no collusion the day before yesterday. Mr. Mueller hasn't brought a single charge related to collusion with the Russians... before the election, he hasn't brought a single charge related to collusion with the Russians to influence the election.


Number two, Mr. Comey (FBI director at the time) passed on false statements charges against Mike Flynn, because he didn't think he was intentionally lying," he explained.



Somebody very close to Mike Flynn told Fox News he pled because he was emotionally broken, financially broken, and his family said enough. Which was exactly what Mr. Mueller was out to do. Destroy the man, and then have him dance on his finger. And now he has him tied around his finger, like the mob would do.


We have charges in this investigation with Mr. Manafort and Gates related to failure to file as federal agents, charges that are almost never brought. We have charges on tax violations without bringing any tax evasion charges. We have false statement pleas, with [George Papadopolous]... we have it now with Mike Flynn. That's it, that's all there is. Contact with foreign governments by an incoming administration. It is not illegal, it is not criminal, in any sense. Those conversations, to the extent that they took place, Mr. Mueller has access to, as a result of the constant, as we've learned over the past many months due to leaks, the constant espionage that goes on in terms of the ambassador to Russia and others. So they know what was discussed. And yet there is no charge of collusion, they know it was discussed, but there is no collusion charge, no substantive, underlying criminal charge.


Despite all the static, all the jumping up and down... what Mr. Mueller has demonstrated today, with the information that he has put out in open court, and leaked out through his surrogates, what Mr. Mueller has demonstrated today is he has no collusion case against anyone. He went after the former campaign chairman, it has nothing to do with crimes associated with collusion.


Now, Flynn has pled to false statements with the FBI, nothing to do with collusion. And now we need to know who told Flynn to talk to the Russians, among other foreign governments. What does that matter? The contacting of the Russian ambassador or Russian officials is perfectly legitimate!


This special prosecutor isn't so special," he said. "And these hatchet men that he has hired, Obama and Clinton supporters, have brought not a single case related to collusion, not a single case related to any crimes related to collusion. Nothing, zero. Cases involving taxes, foreign reporting, lying -- but nothing, zero [about collusion].


What the media should be reporting is: Mr. Mueller doesn't have a collusion case!" he said. "Are they going to go after Kushner for telling Flynn to contact the Russians, and maybe he forgot to tell the FBI or something... this whole thing is pathetic, absolutely pathetic.


The Paul Manafort Story  while he was Trumps Campaign Manager


The following is an excerpt from Let Trump Be Trump by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, to be published on December 3.


We were somewhere over New Jersey, on our way to an event in Delaware, on the Trump helicopter when all hell broke loose. On board were Mr. Trump, the campaign’s press secretary Hope Hicks, security chief Keith Schiller, one Secret Service agent and me. Paul Manafort had been part of the campaign for a few weeks, his job to secure enough delegates to push Trump over the top at the Republican National Convention.


When the boss originally asked me to set up a meeting for him with Manafort, I had to think for a second before the name made sense. It was Tom Barrack, the CEO of the investment firm Colony Capital and a friend of the boss’s for 30 years, who recommended Manafort. I made the call, and a dinner was set up for the following week at Mar-a-Lago. The first thing the boss said when he met Paul was, “Wow, you’re a good-looking guy,” the same words he’d said when he first met me. Manafort, who was older than me by about 30 years, had had some work done to secure his youthful appearance.


Manafort had made strategic alliances with members of the Trump family. In April, weeks before the convention, he flew to Florida to meet with members of the Republican National Committee. There, he told them that everything Trump had said up to that point was a ruse—and he was going to show them the real Donald Trump from now on. Paul Manafort was going to change Donald Trump.


While were in the air, heading for Delaware, somebody—I think it was Ann Coulter—tweeted out a quote from Manafort saying that Trump shouldn’t be on television anymore, that he shouldn’t do the Sunday shows. And from now on Manafort would do all shows. Because he’s the ****ing expert, right? Not Trump, who had already turned the whole primary race on its head.


So, we were in the helicopter and Hope said to Trump: “I turned down all the Sunday show requests.”


“What?!” the boss screamed. “Without asking me?”

“Yes, sir,” Hope said, “Paul said he doesn’t want you on TV.”


Trump went ****ing ballistic. We were still over the New York metropolitan area, where you can get cell service if you fly at a low altitude.


“Lower it!” Trump yelled to the pilot. “I have to make a call.”


He got Manafort on the phone, “Did you say I shouldn’t be on TV on Sunday??” Manafort could barely hear him because of the helicopter motor. But Trump said, “I’ll go on TV anytime I ****n ****ing want and you won’t say another ****ing word about me! Tone it down? I wanna turn it up! I don’t wanna tone anything down! I played along with your delegate charts, but I have had enough.”


book.jpg New Window

We landed the whirlybird at the heliport and got into the car. I was in the back of the car, with Trump next to me on the passenger’s side. He got Paul on the phone and completely decimated him again verbally. Ripped his ****ing head off. I wish I’d recorded it, because it was one of the greatest takedowns in the history of the world.


“You’re a political pro? Let me tell you something. I’m a pro at life. I’ve been around a time or two. I know guys like you, with your hair and your skin…”


I had worked for Trump for 15 months, and he had never spoken to me like that. He had ripped my face off, sure, but never for disrespecting him. I never pretended to be smarter than the boss, because I’m not. But Manafort did, and he isn’t. Though I felt vindicated, the feeling didn’t last long. I immediately got a phone call from Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, telling me that I wasn’t a team player and that I’d thrown Manafort under the bus. After his call with the boss, Paul had called Jared and complained about me. I believed the family thought I wasn’t a team player and that I was trying to sabotage Paul’s relationship with their father. They didn’t realize it was the other way around: He was trying to sabotage me. I knew right then that my job had an expiration date.




Four months later, it was August 14, a Sunday night, and Trump Tower was relatively empty. It was Steve Bannon’s first day on the Trump campaign, so he made his way to the fourteenth floor and found a desk. Just as he was settling in, his phone rang. It was Manafort, who had become the Trump campaign manager, replacing me.


Earlier that day, Bannon had first met the candidate and his campaign manager at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. Manafort had appeared dressed in boat shoes, white capri pants with string ties and a blue blazer complete with a crest on the breast pocket.


Thurston Howell III, Bannon thought.


Now he was asking if they could meet.


“Sure, where are you?” Steve asked.


“Trump Tower,” Manafort said.


Well, that’s convenient, Steve thought.


“I’m in 43G,” he said.


The apartment, like all the apartments in Trump Tower, was beautiful, with a drop-dead view.


Manafort wanted Steve to look at a transcript of a story, yet another one, that a New York Times reporter had sent to him. Bannon read the first three paragraphs and then looked up him.


“Twelve-point-seven-million-dollar payment from Ukraine?”


“How much of this is true?” Bannon asked.


“It’s all lies,” Manafort said. “My lawyers are fighting it.”


“When are they going to run it?” Bannon asked.


“They’re threatening to publish tomorrow.”


“Does Trump know about this?”


“What’s to know? It’s all lies.”


“But if it’s in the paper someone has to give Trump a heads-up, because if it’s in the paper, it’s reality.”


“It was a long time ago,” he added. “I had expenses.”


Bannon knew what he had in his hand.


It was an explosive, Page One story. And even if the story wasn’t true, it was in the ****ing New York Times. At the very least it would leave a mark.


Just as Steve had thought, the story ran the next day, August 15, on Page One, above the fold.


“I’ve got a crook running my campaign,” Trump said when he read it.


Trump told Bannon to fire Manafort right away. Steve argued that firing his campaign chairman would cause a ****torm of bad press. Instead, he argued that Trump should take away his authority and give him a new title, which is what happened. When the campaign announced the new team, Bannon had the title of campaign CEO, Kellyanne Conway was the campaign manager and Manafort remained the title of campaign chairman.


The kill shot for Paul came on Thursday August 18, when Trump was about to go onstage at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina. A friend showed him a printout of an AP story written by Jeff Horwitz and Chad Day. Based on emails that the AP had obtained, the story described Manafort running “a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country’s pro-Russian government.” It also said that Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, had “never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law.”


“Tell Jared to fire him,” Trump said.


The next morning at a breakfast meeting in Trump Tower, Jared asked Manafort to resign. At first, Paul balked. He was worried about the perception of being forced out of the campaign right after the Ukraine stories broke.


“It will make me look guilty,” he said.


Jared told him there wasn’t much that could be done. A press release was going out in 60 seconds.


Corey Lewandowski is a former campaign manager for Donald Trump. END




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