July 11, 2017

Better late than never, right? Neocon Max Boot (one of the architects of regime change in Iraq) is furious that Republicans continue to excuse the connections revealed by the Russian investigation. Boot has even left the Republican party, so let's give him points for that.

GOP operative Mike Shields, on the other hand, knows which side of the bread his butter's on. When Don Lemon asked him last night what he thought of the latest revelations, his response was "meh."

"First of all, the reason we know about this is because of the leak. A leak from an investigation that's going on looking into this, what that tells me if they thought there was something illegal going on here, they wouldn't be leaking it to the New York Times. They would take it to a judge," he said.

Lemon reminded him we don't know the source of the incriminating email, and pointed out it might be from someone in the White House.

"Okay. it's someone who is familiar with the investigation," Shields said.

"I take you back to June of last year. There was a huge scandal going on with the Clinton Foundation how they were selling access in speeches."

Let's pause here to note that none of those scandalous allegations turned out to be true. Shields is only careful about the facts when it comes to Republicans! But I digress.

"If someone comes to the campaign and says, 'I might know something about that,' it's not unusual for someone to take a meeting, say, 'Hey, I want to find out what you were talking about.' Obviously they weren't vetted correctly," he said.

"My guess is, the press would have been focused on Russia even if this hadn't happened. That's the troubling tenor of the way this happens."

That's when Max Boot jumped in.

"You know, the comments of Mike Shields I think underline why, after a lifetime as a Republican, after serving as a senior foreign policy adviser in three Republican campaigns, I am no longer a Republican," he said.

"I am disgusted with the way the Republican party is behaving. What we saw is that Donald Trump puts his own self-interests over the interests of the United States. You saw that just a few days ago in Hamburg where he refused to press Putin on his meddling in the U.S. election, and he tried to excuse it away, refusing to believe what the U.S. intelligence community said.

"And he cooked up this cockamamie scheme to engage in so-called cooperation with Russia on cyber issues -- which is like the fox guarding the henhouse -- and Republicans are not outraged.

"They're trying to make excuses for the White House and Donald Trump even when we see evidence of collusion come into clear view, with this jaw dropping meeting that Don Junior, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, they're meeting with a Russian leader connected to the Kremlin to get dirt on Hillary Clinton -- and still Republicans are making excuses for this.

"It's time to come clean. It's time to put the interests of the country over the interests of the Republican Party."

"You just said evidence of collusion. There is no evidence of collusion," Shields retorted. "People have been looking --"

"Read the New York Times," Boot interrupted.

"I did read the New York Times," Shields said.

"I did read it. There's no evidence. If there was evidence of collusion, then we would have a different story here. This would be something about a legal case."

It will take a very long time for Max Boot to balance the scales on what harm he's done in the Middle East, but at least this is a beginning.

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