A leftover from yesterday. What did Lewandowski mean to say here? Because it sounds like he’s saying that a perfunctory denial from Bond villain Vladimir Putin is worth its weight in gold.
And I know he can’t be saying that.
On Fox, Corey Lewandowski says Putin's firm denial ends the Russia story. pic.twitter.com/vZbJEAY607
— Will Saletan (@saletan) July 9, 2017
In other words:
TRUMP: Did you interfere?
T: Time to move forward
TRUMP: Were you born in US?
T: This requires five years of suspicion
— Daniel Lin (@danwlin) July 9, 2017
Nice job by the Fox & Friends weekend team letting his claim float by unchallenged, by the way. To heighten the absurdity, watch the second clip below, which aired within a few hours of the Lewandowski segment, of Reince Priebus insisting that Trump didn’t believe Putin’s denial. If the White House (rightly) doesn’t believe him, in what way does the exchange between Trump and Putin settle this issue, per Corey?
The most charitable spin you can put on this, I think, is that it’s not Putin’s denial that Corey’s trying to call attention to, it’s the fact that Trump was willing to raise the matter at all. If there really was collusion between him and Putin, he’d have no reason to confront the Russian about campaign hacking. But there’s an easy counter to that: If there was collusion and the Kremlin and Team Trump wanted to conceal it, it’s in the interest of both parties for the American public to believe that Trump confronted Putin about the hacking whether he really did or not. Had Trump not raised the issue and then admitted that, it’d look shady beyond belief, damaging his credibility beyond his base even further. I’m skeptical that collusion happened but there’s next to no evidentiary value in what was said at a closed-doors meeting attended by Trump, Putin, their two top diplomats, and a pair of interpreters with no official record of the conversation.