Did Donald Trump just out the Republican Congressman who received hacked emails from the Russians?

Robert Mueller’s new indictments against twelve Russian government hackers reveal that the Kremlin stole Democratic Party secrets and passed them along to, among other people, someone who was running for U.S. Congress in the 2016 election. There has been a whole lot of idle speculation across social media about the identity of this person. But Donald Trump may have unwittingly done us a huge favor by outing the individual in question.

Here’s the part that was tripping us up for a minute. Mueller’s indictments referenced a “candidate” for U.S. Congress in 2016. Technically, sitting members of Congress are “candidates” when they run for reelection. But this sounded like it was referring to someone who wasn’t already in Congress while the 2016 election was going on. That would rule out the obvious names like Devin Nunes or Dana Rohrabacher. Then we remembered something that changed the entire equation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced this morning that he had already notified Donald Trump of the indictments days earlier. So we went back and looked at what Trump has been tweeting of late. Here’s the tweet that stuck out like a sore thumb: “Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida is one of the finest and most talented people in Congress. Strong on Crime, the Border, Illegal Immigration, the 2nd Amendment, our great Military & Vets, Matt worked tirelessly on helping to get our Massive Tax Cuts. He has my Full Endorsement!”

The timing of Donald Trump’s endorsement of Matt Gaetz yesterday was so strange that Palmer Report responded to Trump’s tweet with “Translation: Matt Gaetz is in trouble.” But at the time we had no idea what kind of trouble. Now we know that Trump posted this tweet after he learned that a Republican Congressman was about to be referenced in the indictments of Russian hackers. Did Trump just give away it’s Matt Gaetz? We’ll find out soon enough.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report