January 14, 2019

On State of the Union, Jake Tapper interviewed Senator Mark Warner, Vice-Chair of the Intelligence Committee, about what Tapper called a "stunning turn of events" — that is, the news that the FBI opened an investigation into Donald Trump to determine whether or not he was acting as a Russian asset. Neither Tapper, nor Sen. Warner seem swayed by those who are crying "FBI OVERREACH!" (I'm looking at YOU, Chuck Todd) after he fired James Comey. Sen. Warner wasn't willing to reveal what he was briefed on as a member of the Gang of Eight when the investigations began, but he laid down a solid list of things he found "curious" about President Putinpoodle's behavior.

There was an entire series of questionable actions that took place before the election in 2016:

WARNER: You had Vladimir Putin policies almost being parroted by Donald Trump. You had Trump say only nice things about Putin. He never spoke ill about Russia. The Republican campaign doctrines softened on Russia. And decreased their willingness to defend Ukraine. There was a series of outside actions. I think we all remember when Trump and his bluster basically said to the Russians, if you've got more e-mails, bring them on. These are not actions of a traditional president for the United States.

Tapper wanted to interrupt, purportedly to push back, but Sen. Warner was not finished. He wanted to explain why everything that we are continuing to learn shows just how justified all of these investigations are: Congressional Investigations, the Mueller investigation, and the FBI investigations.

WARNER: Well, I just think we need to put this all three pieces of what happened in context of last week. We have the story of the level of concern that the FBI had, again, if the story is correct, in a sense, open their own investigation, whether Donald Trump was compromised. We have on top of that, the fact of the most recent story that Trump had a series of meetings with Putin, which he broke all protocol, where normally these meetings you bring in top aides so that there is some record. So you can have the appropriate follow-up.

In these meetings he brought in Tillerson once but the other meetings were simply with the interpreter. And the interpreter was then restricted on, in a sense, sharing that information. To the point that we still don't know the American government does not know what was discussed between Trump and Vladimir Putin in that, frankly, pathetic, embarrassing encounter where Trump was kowtowing to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

It was one of the worst days post-World War Two in terms of America's lack of leadership against a dictator like Putin and finally, I know people have to stretch their memory, but we have to remember all the way back at the beginning of the week when the stories came out that Trump's campaign chairman was sharing proprietary campaign data with a known Russian agent, Mr. Kilimnik. Kilimnic who has ties to Putin and Kilimnik who has ties to the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The very same oligarch the Trump administration now wants to try to remove the sanctions on.

I think this week, I have been waiting for a long time for Mueller to kind of move forward. I think we're seeing these independent actions even independent of Mueller, which is the lead-up and some of the rationale about why this investigation started and why so many Americans, like myself, have been concerned for so long.

For real, Senator Warner. The pace of things since Mango Mussolini has taken office means we DO have to stretch allllll the way back to remember the beginning of the week, so honestly, thank you for the reminder.

Everything Warner brought up demonstrates the need for MORE oversight, not less. MORE information, not less. So, let's get this show on the road. The now-Democratic-majority House of Representatives has a great deal of work to make up for now that it's taken over from the do-nothing, complicit, cowardly Republicans. As Hillary Clinton's organization is aptly named, ONWARD.

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