The Russia investigation, as executed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and multiple Congressional committees, continues to exert pressure on the president. So far, four of his former aides have at one time faced charges from Mueller, and the investigation — although the Trump team has claimed otherwise — has shown little sign of wrapping up anytime incredibly soon. Mueller walked into a hornet’s nest when he took on the role of leading the Russia investigation.
In light of these issues, The New York Times is reporting that the president met recently with lawyer Emmet T. Flood to explore the possibility of the lawyer joining his legal team and helping him deal with the Russia investigation. Besides having served in the George W. Bush administration, Flood also represented Bill Clinton during the impeachment proceedings against him.
According to the publication, Trump’s consideration of Flood did “not indicate any new concerns about the [Russia] inquiry.” Were he to be brought on, his role on the president’s team would include handling “day-to-day” issues associated with the Russia investigation.
Neither White House officials nor Flood himself immediately offered comment to The Times. The president eventually took to Twitter, however, to attempt to shoot down the story.
He wrote, in part:
‘The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and have shown conclusively that there was no Collusion with Russia, just excuse for losing. The only Collusion was that done by the DNC, the Democrats and Crooked Hillary.’
To be clear, the president is taking the message of the story from The Times to an extreme here. The story is simply about him having met with Flood; it doesn’t claim that he’s certainly going to bring him onto his team.
In addition, he again has taken here to his longstanding claims that the only interest truly guilty of collusion with Russia is the Democratic Party.
That claim is an oversimplification; Democrats were, in part, behind the opposition research on Trump that culminated in the so-called “Trump dossier.” However, it’s not Democrats who held meetings with interests like the Russian ambassador to the United States and then sought to conceal those meetings. Neither is it Democrats who are currently in power and seeking to throw sticks in the wheels of the Russia investigation.
No matter how many times the president wants to sling mud, none of these facts will change.
Journalist Maggie Haberman took to Twitter to defend her outlet’s reporting, writing in the face of Trump’s angry tweets:
‘Several people close to Trump confirmed our story. Trump also met with Emmet Flood in the Oval last week for purpose of potentially hiring him. Our story was confirmed by other outlets… which raises possibility Flood has turned him down.’
For now, Mueller’s probe is continuing, whether the president adds another lawyer to his team or not. His personal lawyers are currently handling negotiations over a potential sit down with the special counsel’s office, a possibility the president has said he’s open to.
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