February 19, 2017

On ABC's This Week Sunday, Corey Lewandowski, former Trump campaign manager and CNN's paid Trump mouthpiece, continued to push the false narrative that no one from the Trump campaign ever talked to Russia.

During the interview, Lewandowski seemed even more manic and frenetic than usual, which says a lot. Maybe he had way too many espressos before the appearance, who knows? It was incredibly stark in comparison to the guy sitting next to him, Robby Mook, former Clinton campaign manager. As the nearly ten minute interview went on, Mook had a permanent smile on his face and at times was visibly stifling laughter as the lies kept spewing forth from Lewandowski's mouth.

Here is a bit of their exchange:

KARL: Let's bring in two men who know what that never-ending campaign is like, Donald Trump's first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook.

So before we get to our discussion, I want to start with a couple of very specific questions to you, Corey, on this issue of Russian contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. You were his campaign manager for a time. Did you ever have any contacts with any Russians?


KARL: Never.


KARL: All right. Well, I want to play for you the way Donald Trump answered that question when I asked him at the press conference.


KARL: I just want to get you to clarify because it's a very important point. Can you say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contacts with the Russians during the campaign?

TRUMP: Well, I had nothing to do with it. I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you, I have no deals there. I have no anything.

HMMMM, interesting deflection there. Notice he said HE had nothing to do with it. HE has no deals with Russia, even though that directly contradicts claims he's made at other times. Now, he says he has "no anything" but notice he did not say the entire campaign had no contact with Russia. Nice little Kellyanne Conway tap dancing...

Jon Karl, who never met a right wing talking point he didn't like, actually noticed and followed up. And that got Lewandowski a bit on the defensive.

KARL: OK. He didn't quite answer my question. You -- I asked you a different one about you specifically. What about others? Were others on the campaign or associated with the campaign at any time in contact with the Russians?

LEWANDOWSKI: I don't know of any person working on the campaign that ever had a contact with a Russian agent or a Russian affiliate or anybody that has to do with Russia. None whatsoever.

KARL: So you don't know of any. Is it possible that somebody that you didn't know of, maybe somebody the president didn't know of?

LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I have spent enormous amounts of time with candidate Trump during that campaign. Never ever during my time with him did I ever hear him, instruct him, see him ever ask somebody to reach out to anyone from a foreign country ever.

KARL: Trump...

Oh, so now we are ignoring the question and switching to "Trump didn't tell anyone to do it" but it may have happened, I don't know, I can't speak for them, but I will fall on the sword and tell you that Trump had nothing to do with it.

LEWANDOWSKI: That's exactly right. And, look, I was a campaign manager for eighteen months. Never during my period of time --

KARL: But you can't speak for Paul Manafort, for other -- others?

LEWANDOWSKI: Listen, I don't know what people do when they're not in my presence. I don't know what they're doing in their own private time. I can tell you that, unequivocally, I have never seen anybody who I have directed, or the president directed, ever reach out to someone from Russia. Never been instructed to do so ever. Never.

Here is the non-denial admission...that it probably happened but it wasn't in front of him, Trump didn't orchestrate it, yadda yadda yadda.

Seeing Lewandowski flailing, Robby Mook comes to save him. Aw.

MOOK: I believe Corey that he never reached out. He's not one of the names that was listed. But Paul Manafort's connections to the Russians are clear. They paid him a lot of money to help get candidates elected that they wanted in the Ukraine. It's not surprising to me that they might be trying the same thing here in the United States.

And what's particularly frightening to me about the situation is that these phone calls that Trump associates had with Russian agents were picked up because the NSA taps these Russian agents regularly. This isn't speculation. These are phone calls that were actually picked up. And what's also scary is that you saw the president kind of deflect the question. He won't answer it. And the more we learn about this, the closer and closer it gets to President Trump.

And now on to intelligence....where Lewandowski again denies that Russia maybe wasn't behind the hacks (facepalm)

KARL:: Just to be clear, your allegation is that what the intelligence community says was clear evidence that Russians were behind the DNC hack? You believe that the Trump campaign was coordinating with the Russians?

MOOK: That's what we don't know.

KARL:: There's no evidence of that. Yet, that we have seen.

MOOK: There's none yet. But President Trump won't deny it. And we just don't know the facts. We haven't seen the transcripts of these phone calls. We need to get all the information out there. We need a 9/11-style bipartisan independent commission to sort through this, because this can never happen again.

LEWANDOWSKI: Jonathan, there's no evidence whatsoever by any intelligence agency that the Russians had anything to do with the outcome of the election. The outcome of the election was very clear.

Let me read to you what President Obama said on October 21st, 2016. He said that the U.S. election system is too big to hack, and a senior administration official, echoing the comments of Obama, said, quote, "It is so large, diffuse, and antiquated that altering the November 8 election would be practically impossible."

KARL:: That's about the voting machines. But you don't doubt that the e-mails, the hacking of the e-mails, that was done by the Russians?

LEWANDOWSKI: I have no idea who it was done from.

KARL:: Well, the intelligence community said --

LEWANDOWSKI: I don't have any information other than what's publicly available.

KARL:: Do you doubt their findings?

LEWANDOWSKI: I have no idea what their information is. What is know is that the campaign had nothing to do with it. What I know is that the information hacked from WikiLeaks was proven to be 100 percent accurate, and all the Podesta e-mails which have come forward have never, ever been --

KARL:: Does the president believe it? Because the president said he believed it in that transition press conference, but he seems to be talking a lot about the fake news. Does he?

LEWANDOWSKI: I don't -- look, what I know what the president said was that the e-mails from John Podesta have been authenticated, or have never been refused to be authentic. That's the truth.

MOOK: But this is the problem, Jonathan, is blame the victim. It's to say, OK, well, in fact the Russians stole John Podesta's e-mails. They put them out for the purpose of hurting Hillary Clinton. That's absolutely correct. And my point is -- and I think the point of the national intelligence community and everybody else -- is that's wrong. We cannot have foreign governments interceding in our elections.

Lewandowski did his best to repeat the Trump campaign talking points. Boring. My favorite part of the entire interview was Mook's inability to keep his composure because honestly, I was laughing along at home. Every time Lewandoski opened his mouth, his face looked pained, his eyes were squinting, his lies coming forth from his pursed lips like vomit spewing after you ate some bad shellfish, his body tense as if he was moments away from going into battle.

Mook, on the other hand, was calm and clearly enjoying himself. The side by side comparison of their body language alone is worth watching the clip.


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