Now that Donald Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty and confessed to having conspired with the Russian government with the campaign’s knowledge during the election, Donald Trump wants you to believe that Papadopoulos is a lying nobody. But it’s taken all of a few hours for Trump’s claims about Papadopoulos to have been blown completely out of the water, potentially further incriminating Trump in the process.
On Tuesday morning Trump tweeted “The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was “no collusion” and events mentioned took place long before he came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!” Two things stand out here. The first is that Trump used a tortured sentence construction so he wouldn’t have to try to spell “Papadopoulos” (he went on to misspell “week” and “knows” in the same Twitter rant).
The second is that Trump is desperate to sell the notion of Papadopoulos having been too low-level to have been acting on behalf of the campaign when he conspired with Russia. But now comes word from the Washington Post that when Jeff Sessions held a dinner for Trump campaign advisers, he had Papadopoulos sit right next to him (link). This kind of thing doesn’t happen to an obscure “low level volunteer” as Trump claims. So he’s flat out lying, and that’s a problem for him.
At this point Special Counsel Robert Mueller can interpret it as being obstruction of justice any time Donald Trump says something intentionally misleading about the investigation. Each of Trump’s lying tweets, such as Tuesday’s tweet about George Papadopoulos, only serves to help bolster the obstruction case that Mueller is building against Trump as we speak. Keep in mind that Richard Nixon wasn’t ousted from office for the Watergate break-in, but for obstructing the Watergate investigation.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report