March 8, 2017

Rachel Maddow stepped through yet another piece of the Russia story, concluding that it is becoming more likely that the Trump campaign not only had active contact with Russian officials during the campaign, but likely colluded with them on their interference in the 2016 election.

This story centers on a mid-level diplomat who was recalled to Russia in August. According to the dossier written by former MI-6 spy Christopher Steele, Mikhail Kulagin was abruptly recalled after Russian officials grew concerned about his involvement in the election hacking.

As she walks through the story, Rachel points out that there are now confirmed contacts between Russian officials, Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, J.D. Gordon, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Michael Cohen. All during the campaign.

After reviewing the Sessions allegations, she went on to drop a truth bomb.

"The bottom line of this dossier, the bottom line allegation, the point of it is that the Trump campaign didn’t just benefit from Russia interfering in our presidential campaign," she said. "The point of this is that they colluded, they helped, they were in on it."

Quoting from the dossier, she identified "the money quote" as being "The operation had been conducted with the full knowledge of Trump and senior members of his campaign team.”

She continued, "That’s basically what this whole dossier alleges – that the Trump folks were in on it. There were multiple people close to Trump, involved in the Trump campaign, who were in contact with the Russian government about the Russian government’s attacks on Hillary Clinton, while those attacks were happening, while Russia was waging these attacks."

She added, "Overall, yes, we still have to describe this as a sheaf of uncorroborated allegations, but little pieces supporting that bottom line thesis really do keep falling in line."

Yes, they do. And they should be investigated. Later in her show, she interviewed Rep. Adam Schiff, who told her he definitely wants to interview Christopher Steele as part of their investigation, no matter what objections Republicans might have.

Now that Steele has emerged from hiding, there seems to be no real reason for them to shirk that duty, I'd say.

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