What's that saying about protesting too much? Because that's definitely what we got from Republican strategist and right-wing flack Alex Castellanos when he dismissed The New York Time's Michelle Goldberg for suggesting that the entire Republican party has been compromised by the Russians, using the NRA as a conduit to funnel them money.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That – that is one of the questions. You also saw, Michelle Goldberg, Democrats far less reticent about saying – using words like treason this week, for better or worse politically.
Clearly saying they believe that it’s very, very possible now that President Trump is compromised. And then in the heels of that are – it’s sort of book ending the summit, you have the indictments on the Friday before and the new indictment of Maria Butina as a Russian agent just the day after.
GOLDBERG: Look, I think that increasingly to believe that the president isn’t compromised requires such a leap of faith that requires so many coincidences and kind of inexplicable behavioral choices. I think that the truth is probably what is right in front of us, which is that Donald Trump was a – kind of a conman, a third tier failed businessman who’s fortunes were rescued by Russian oligarchs.
He presented himself as a kind of titan of industry, which everybody knows anything about him knew was ridiculous, he became president with the direct intervention of Putin, he sees his fortunes as inseparable from Putin’s.
He either – we don’t know, I think, if Putin is his handler, his hero or his co-conspirator, but that’s obviously where his loyalty lies as opposed to lying with the American people. And I think increasingly when you look at the role that the NRA has played all of this, you know –
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- ties to Maria Butina.
GOLDBERG: I think that, you know, the Republic servility has been breathtaking to me and – and really confusing, because you do think that, you know, if nothing else, these people are patriots, they have some base line loyalty to country over party, and yet they’ve lied down for Trump in this way that I mean people -- people come up to me on the street. They find it unbelievable.
And I think that one of the things that came out this week with the NRA is that maybe they are not just, you know, craven, some of them are also complicit because the NRA didn't just help Trump, it helped them all.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What is the alternate view?
CASTELLANOS: I think you are getting a tinfoil hat. We're getting into tinfoil hat conspiracy theories.
GOLDBERG: Excuse me, Maria Butina was just arrested as a Russian agent for penetrating the NRA. And you think that's silly?
CASTELLANOS: Penetrating the NRA? Are you kidding? She got invited to the inaugural. Do you know what her secret communications channels were? Twitter.
This is kind of a joke. She is an unregistered lobbyist.
More importantly regarding Trump and his motives, his motives are what they've been for 30 years. He took out an ad in 1987 saying Europe ought to pay more for its own defense. We shouldn't have to do that. They are economic competitors. He sees everything through the prism of economics. I have got to beat you. That's why he sees Europe.
Sorry Alex, but no tinfoil hat required after RoJo and company's little trip over there over the 4th of July holiday.