The God-King will testify under oath for Robert Mueller, and the GOP’s FBI conspiracy theory fell apart. (More)

“I would do it under oath, absolutely”

The Washington Post reports that the God-King agreed to testify under oath for special counsel Robert Mueller, sort of:

President Trump said Wednesday he is “looking forward” to testifying under oath to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as part of the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election while also mounting a preemptive defense of potential obstruction accusations.

“I would love to do it, and I would like to do it as soon as possible,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I would do it under oath, absolutely.”
The president suggested the interview could take place in the next two or three weeks and said he continued to consult with his lawyers. Trump has previously criticized the wide-ranging investigation into his administration, calling it a “hoax” and a “witch hunt,” while alternatively saying he would probably testify or that he may not need to testify.

Mueller has provided a list of topics for the initial testimony, per CNN:

Special counsel Robert Mueller has provided lawyers for President Donald Trump with a range of topics he wants to ask about as part of ongoing negotiations regarding an interview with the President, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
As the President’s attorneys try to whittle down Mueller’s areas of interest, a source familiar with the matter says the special counsel has obliged by offering a list of topics, including learning more about the President allegedly asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Mueller also wants to know about Trump’s reaction to Comey’s May 2017 testimony on Capitol Hill, which reportedly angered the President.

Additionally, investigators want to learn more about the President’s outreach to intelligence leaders about the Russia investigation.

The topics are largely related to the firings of Flynn and Comey. The description of topics suggests any interview with Trump could focus substantially on obstruction of justice issues.

Even so, the God-King’s friends say he should avoid Mueller, the Post reports:

Among Trump’s friends, there is a prevailing view that he could damage himself by testifying under oath because he often misrepresents events and that he is listening to lawyers who are not giving him good advice.

“He should treat Mueller like a plague,” Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax and a Trump confidant, said Wednesday after Trump’s remarks. “He should assert executive privilege in every opportunity they can.”

Ruddy said Mueller’s investigation isn’t about “Russian collusion.”

“It’s about anything and everything they can find,” he said. “This is moving rapidly, extremely fast.”

I’ll go out on a limb – squirrels do that – and speculate that the God-King’s ego won’t let him avoid taking on Mueller face-to-face … and his ignorance and pathological lying won’t let him escape unscathed.

“Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society”

As for the FBI Deep State Secret Society conspiracy theory that wingnuts are pushing, turns out that comes from a single text that reads like a joke:

Lawmakers have refused to publicly release the full text message, sent the day after Trump won the 2016 presidential election. But ABC News has obtained a copy of the one message that Republicans appear to be citing, and it’s unclear if the message’s reference to a “secret society” may have been made in jest.

“Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society,” FBI lawyer Lisa Page wrote to senior FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was working on the FBI’s probe of Russian meddling in the presidential election and would later join Page for a brief period on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

That text stands alone in the series of messages obtained by ABC News – with no apparent tie to other messages sent before or after it.

Yeah, that sounds exactly like a Master Plan. Not.

Oh wait, maybe the rest of the Master Plan is in the missing Strzok/Page texts that the FBI destroyed! Or not:

Thousands of FBI cellphones were affected by the technical glitch that the DOJ says prevented five months’ worth of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page from being stored or uploaded into the bureau’s archive system, federal law enforcement officials tell Fox News.

The missing messages have been at the center of a storm of controversy on Capitol Hill, after the DOJ notified congressional committees that there is a gap in records between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017. Strzok and Page are under scrutiny after it was revealed that the former members of Robert Mueller’s team exchanged a series of anti-Trump texts during the presidential campaign.

The gap in records covered a crucial period, raising suspicion among GOP lawmakers about how those messages disappeared.

But Fox News is told that the glitch affected the phones of “nearly” 10 percent of the FBI’s 35,000 employees.

Yes, that really is a Fox News link. And yes, they really are conceding that the Missing Texts aren’t just a Strzok/Page thing. It was a technical glitch – a firmware upgrade that wiped out messages – for anyone using that kind of phone. Which was about 10% of the FBI’s employees. Strzok and Page just happened to have that kind of phone, and that’s why their messages were lost.

But will Fox News’ primetime conspiracy mongers care, Vox’s Zack Beauchamp asks:

So either one of two things is happening here: Fox News has gotten a huge story wrong in a way that deeply undercuts the president, or its big-name talk show hosts like Hannity have been peddling a narrative that has absolutely zero basis in fact — but dovetails directly with a broader attack on the FBI aimed at undercutting special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

We report, you decide.

New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait agrees, and he says the wingnut playbook came straight from Moscow:

Odds are, you don’t remember any of the particular revelations contained in the stolen emails from John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee. But when WikiLeaks published them two years ago, they created a furor. The snippets of conversation, wrenched out of context, seemed to supply hidden evidence of what Hillary Clinton’s critics on both the left and the right already suspected. Here was Clinton scheming, using crass political logic and language, deriding Bernie Sanders, and acknowledging her weaknesses.
The email hacks did not actually reveal anything nearly so incriminating. What the episode showed was that, if hostile actors are allowed to peek into a vast trove of their target’s private thoughts, they can usually find something that sounds shady. This is exactly the method Republicans are now using to discredit the FBI.

Chait details the pattern – sift through a pile of mostly innocuous messages, cherry-pick and selectively leak the ones that can be spun as sinister, then howl “CORRUPTION!” loudly and often – and concludes:

When they hacked Democratic emails, Russians were counting on a gullible mainstream news media and an unprincipled right-wing echo chamber to transform a bunch of trivial internal communications into a pseudo-scandal by wrenching them from all context. It is ironic that the current Republican effort to dismiss the very real scandal that arose from those hacks is using the exact same method.

I guess it is “ironic,” maybe. Or maybe it’s simply that they’re playing for the same team….


Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer-Pool (Getty Images)


Good day and good nuts