2016 Campaign

Emails Show Follow Up to Trump Tower Meeting

“The British publicist who arranged the June 2016 meeting with Russians and Donald Trump Jr. sent multiple emails to a Russian participant and a member of Donald Trump’s inner circle later that summer, multiple sources told CNN, the first indication there was any follow-up after the meeting.”

“The emails raise new questions for congressional investigators about what was discussed at Trump Tower. Trump Jr. has for months contended that after being promised he would get dirt on Hillary Clinton, the brief meeting focused almost exclusively on the issue of Russian adoptions, saying there was no discussion with the participants after that session.”

More Charges May Be Coming In Russia Probe

“Robert Mueller may not be through with Rick Gates, a deputy Trump campaign aide and one of the four people who have been charged as part of the special counsel probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election,” CNN reports.

“In a court appearance Monday in Manhattan, Gates’ attorney Walter Mack said that federal prosecutors have told him that more charges, called superseding indictments, may be coming.”

Trump Jr. Sought Clinton Info from Russian

“Donald Trump Jr. asked a Russian lawyer at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting whether she had evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation,” the lawyer told the Senate Judiciary Committee in answers to written questions obtained by NBC News.

“The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told the committee that she didn’t have any such evidence, and that she believes Trump… Once it became apparent that she did not have meaningful information about Clinton, Trump seemed to lose interest.”

Pence Contemplated Coup to Replace Trump on Ticket

Following the release of the Access Hollywood tape last year, Vice President Mike Pence made it clear to the RNC he was ready to take Trump’s place as the presidential nominee, The Atlantic reports.

“The furtive plotting, several sources told me, was not just an act of political opportunism for Pence. He was genuinely shocked by the Access Hollywood tape. In the short time they’d known each other, Trump had made an effort to convince Pence that—beneath all the made-for-TV bluster and bravado—he was a good-hearted man with faith in God. On the night of the vice-presidential debate, for example, Trump had left a voicemail letting Pence know that he’d just said a prayer for him. The couple was appalled by the video, however. Karen in particular was ‘disgusted,’ says a former campaign aide. ‘She finds him reprehensible—just totally vile.'”

Manafort Accused of Violating Bail Conditions

Special counsel Robert Mueller accused President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, of working with a Russian colleague to draft an opinion piece about his political work for Ukraine, Reuters reports.

“Had it been published, prosecutors say it would have violated a Nov. 8 court order not to discuss the case publicly… Due to Manafort’s actions, prosecutors said the judge should reject his request to modify his bail conditions.”

The Biggest Scandal In American History

Brian Beutler: “If the story were to end where we are right now, with no further confessions or indictments or revelations, it would still amount to the biggest scandal in American political history. In the real world, Robert Mueller has flipped Flynn and allowed him to plea to (much) lesser crimes, most likely in exchange for incriminating evidence against Trump campaign and administration highers-up.”

“Meanwhile, Trump’s pretense that Flynn did no wrong but to lie to Vice President Mike Pence is falling apart, as it becomes increasingly clear that Flynn was honest with the entire team about his communication with Russian agents, and they all agreed to tell lies about it to the public. Trump admitted on Saturday that he knew Flynn had repeated those lies to the FBI at the time he ousted Flynn, and at the time he beseeched FBI Director James Comey to let Flynn off the hook. The president is for this and a myriad other reasons the subject of an obstruction investigation.”

‘Of Course He Said It’

Billy Bush pushes back at President Trump’s recent private assertions that it’s not is voice on the infamous Access Hollywood tape:

Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real.

We now know better.

Operative Offered Trump a ‘Kremlin Connection’

“A conservative operative trumpeting his close ties to the National Rifle Association and Russia told a Trump campaign adviser last year that he could arrange a back-channel meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, according to an email sent to the Trump campaign,” the New York Times reports.

“A May 2016 email to the campaign adviser, Rick Dearborn, bore the subject line ‘Kremlin Connection.’ In it, the N.R.A. member said he wanted the advice of Mr. Dearborn and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), then a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Trump and Mr. Dearborn’s longtime boss, about how to proceed in connecting the two leaders.”

“Russia, he wrote, was ‘quietly but actively seeking a dialogue with the U.S.’ and would attempt to use the N.R.A.’s annual convention in Louisville, Ky., to make ‘first contact.'”

A Look Inside the Trump Campaign

The Washington Post obtained an early copy of Let Trump Be Trump by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.

Key quote: “Sooner or later, everybody who works for Donald Trump will see a side of him that makes you wonder why you took a job with him in the first place.”

Also interesting: Lewandowski describes how staffer Sam Nunberg was purposely left behind at a McDonald’s because Nunberg’s special-order burger was taking too long. “Leave him,” Trump said. “Let’s go.” And they did.

Stone’s Link to Wikileaks Revealed

“Former Trump adviser and longtime political troublemaker Roger Stone has been asked repeatedly how he knew, seemingly in advance, that WikiLeaks was going to publish damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And he has repeatedly refused to answer, saying he had a ‘go-between’ who did not wish to be named,” ABC News reports.

“On Tuesday, however, Randy Credico, a New York comedian and political activist who hosts his own radio show, tweeted a picture of a congressional subpoena compelling him to appear on Dec. 15 before the House Intelligence Committee… Credico has been identified as the intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and will face questions from investigators about those relationships.”

Kushner Met with Special Counsel About Flynn

“Jared Kushner met earlier this month with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election,” CNN reports.

“Mueller’s team specifically asked Kushner about former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who is under investigation by the special counsel… Flynn was the dominant topic of the conversation.”