Rudy Giuliani continues to be the King of Buffoonery, giving yet another ridiculous interview to Jake Tapper on CNN's State of the Union. Well, ridiculous to those of us who have critical thinking skills and a sense of wrong and right, but as with so many Trumpers invited on these shows, Giuliani's target audience do not. To them, I'm sure this was a strong defense instead of a disastrous display of normalizing criminality and treason.
The hot topic, of course, was the Mueller report. In this clip, Rudy defends Trump (of course), accuses Hillary of "talking to the Ukrainians", insinuates that the 2012 Mitt Romney campaign "stop the bull...stop this pious act...that you weren't trying to dig up dirt on other people" - but he stops short of saying it was from foreign nations. Romney issued a statement on Twitter after the redacted report was released, saying he was "sickened" which offended Trump and caused him to once again lash out at Romney.
Oh, and when asked about accepting information from foreign countries, Rudy said "who says that the President accepted information from foreign countries? You mean people in his campaign...who says it's even illegal? Does the information turn out to be false?...There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians...it depends on where it came from."
When 12 students and one teacher were killed in Littleton, Colorado 20 years ago, it not only became what at the time was the worst high school shooting in U.S. history. It also marked when American society was first handed a script for a new form of violence in schools.
Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor to the president, insisted on Sunday that Donald Trump "is not going to jail."
During an interview on ABC's This Week, Conway suggested that Trump would be going to prison if special counsel Robert Mueller concluded that he obstructed justice.
But ABC host Martha Raddatz pointed out that the Russia report specifically said that the president is not exonerated, meaning he could be charged after leaving office.
"They declined to indict," Conway said. "The president is not going to jail. He's staying in the White House for 5 1/2 more years. Why? Because they found no crime. No conspiracy."
"Will you acknowledge that Mueller explicitly didn't clear the president?" ABC host Martha Raddatz asked.
"There was no reason for him to do that or not to do that for a very simple reason," Conway opined. "The central premise here is collusion. There isn't any."
"You think he this totally exonerates from him?" Raddatz pressed.
"Yes, I do," Conway replied. "The word exoneration was unnecessary in the Mueller report and I'd say inappropriate."
Conway, however, did not address the possibility that Trump could be charged after he vacates office.
Anyone remember way back in 2007 when now Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said this about torture?
"I wanted to ask you two questions,'' she said. "One, do you think waterboarding is torture? And two, do you think the president can order something like waterboarding even though it's against U.S. and international law?''
Mr. Giuliani responded: "O.K. First of all, I don't believe the attorney general designate in any way was unclear on torture. I think Democrats said that; I don't think he was.''
Ms. Gustitus said: "He said he didn't know if waterboarding is torture."
Mr. Giuliani said: "Well, I'm not sure it is either. I'm not sure it is either. It depends on how it's done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it's been defined in the media, it shouldn't be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that's the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn't be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I've learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don't always describe it accurately." [...]
In an interview on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani over revelations in special counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report about Donald Trump and his family.
Giuliani began the interview by complaining about Wallace's first question.
"What you're doing is you're taking the Mueller's report, which is a prosecutor's version of what happened, you're giving it full credit and you're not giving me a chance to explain the other side!" the president's lawyer whined.
"I'm asking you about the other side," Wallace pointed out.
"It's pages of calumny, lies and distortions," Giuliani said.
"You think that's what the report is?" Wallace clarified.
After giving Giuliani a moment to explain Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey -- which led to the special counsel's investigation -- Wallace tried to move on.
"You've got to give me the opportunity to ask you a question," the Fox News host said as Giuliani continued talking over him. "I'm here to ask you some questions [about the report]."
"One of your arguments is that obstruction of justice could not have happened because there is no underlying crime," Wallace continued. "The special counsel said what you just said is not true."
The Trump Cult may be doing a victory lap, claiming TOTAL EXONERATION!, but the reality could not be farther from the truth. On ABC's This Week, Rep. Adam Schiff made it clear that impeachment hearings are even more likely after the devastating Mueller report.
Schiff acknowledged that the evidence in the Mueller report is "serious and damning" and "without question within the realm of impeachable offenses" but pointed out that we are in circumstances where the GOP and McConnell are unwilling to stand up to Donald Trump. But, the Democrats may need to look into impeachment if it is in the best interests of the country. He acknowledges it is a "tough" question, but does not rule it out.
In the last few days, the drumbeat to at least take up hearings in the House has grown substantially louder. Yes, it may (probably will) fail in the Senate, but hearings are necessary to continue to shine the light on the behaviors and actions of this corrupt administration.
Think about it - the GOP and Trump cult only read tweets from and hear Fox News analysis of the Mueller report. They are not reading it themselves. They are not hearing from witnesses. If the Democrats have weeks of hearings, with faces and voices and clips of questioning, it is possible that some in the cult will remove their blinders and listen. And at the very least, we must hold hearings to show the public that we will not tolerate this type of criminal behavior and brazen obstruction.
The conventional wisdom is that Robert Mueller did a very thorough job, and possibly faltered only in his failure to weigh on on the question of whether President Trump obstructed justice. But some commentators think Mueller could have done more.
Ron Klain writes:
... if expectations were too high for Mueller's report, the inevitable disappointment was exacerbated by how Mueller fell short in what he delivered.
This starts with his failure to get Trump to answer questions in person....
In a run-of-the-mill criminal case, a prosecutor's decision to bypass questioning a difficult figure might make sense; when we are seeking to learn whether a presidential candidate worked with a hostile foreign power to win an election, the public deserves to have that candidate answer questions under oath.
Klain also questions the kid-glove treatment of Donald Trump Jr., echoing Rick Hasen, who wrote this:
Robert Mueller let Donald Trump Jr. off the hook too easily for potential campaign finance violations that arose from the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Russian operatives....
We've seen Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders hold a Town Hall on Fox News. This was after the DNC stated they would not participate in a primary debate on Fox News because it is clearly a propaganda network for Donald Trump and little else. Furthermore it propagates outright lies, and vile racist hate speech — something with which Democrats rightly do not wish to be associated, or to be seen as potentially lending legitimacy to with their presence. Yet, Sen. Sanders went on there and held a town hall, wowed the audience that had a large contingent of Sanders fans, and really got under Trump's skin. Fox got to claim victory, in getting someone running as a Democrat on their network, and in taking another step towards said legitimacy.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir invited people from around the world to join in a singing of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah.
Mark D. Roberts in Patheos calls Handel's work "An Unexpected Easter Masterpiece":
Handel did not write the Messiah as a piece of Christmas music. We know this for a couple of reasons. First, if you pay close attention to the words of the Messiah in the libretto (the text of the music) written by Charles Jennens, you'll discover that only the first part of the composition has to do with the birth of Jesus. The second and third parts focus on his death, resurrection, the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost, and the final resurrection of all believers. Second, the first performance of the Messiah occurred, not during Advent or Christmas, but in Eastertide. Handel's masterpiece was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742, 19 days after Easter. This was surely no accident. If Handel had envisioned the Messiah as a piece for Christmas, it would have been introduced in this season.