Move That Goal Post

From no contacts to some contacts, but no collusion, to some collusion …

Kellyanne Conway (11/19) — “There was no collusion. I assure you there wasn’t, at the highest levels of the campaign. If other people were doing shenanagins, trying to make themselves important, or didn’t have enough faith in Donald J. Trump, that he can get the job done, and beat Hillary Clinton on his own … Those of us in the highest echelons of the campaign weren’t talking to Russians.”

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Craig Crawford

Author: Craig Crawford

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32 thoughts on “Move That Goal Post”

  1. “Those of us in the highest echelons of the campaign weren’t talking to Russians”

    ms Conway, so don jr is just a gofer, a lowly guy “doing shenanagins, trying to make themselves important, or didn’t have enough faith in Donald J. Trump”?

    from vox a bit of transcript last year
    Good Morning America
     
    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, Tom, thanks. Let’s take it to counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway. Kellyanne, thanks for joining us this morning. We just showed some of those denials from the president, from the vice president, Don Jr., about any contacts. Back in December, you also denied any contacts between the campaign and Russians. I want to show our audience.
    [from previous clip]
     
    CONWAY: Absolutely not, and I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened. I hear people saying it like it’s a fact on television. That is just not only inaccurate and false but it’s dangerous.
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: Does the president-elect —
     
    CONWAY: And it does undermine our democracy.
     
    [previous clip ends]
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: It did turn out to be a fact. So who misled you, and why did Don Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort allow those public denials to stand for so many months?
     
    CONWAY: So as I understand it, George, at — some of the disclosure forms have been amended since that time to reflect other meetings, including this one. I think that Tom Llamas, your colleague, put it best. He said that these were vague and ambiguous statements, that Don Jr. was not aware of the lawyer’s name before he got there, and that the conversation quickly changed to what seemed to be the entire purpose of the meeting for that woman, which was Russian adoption. No information was received that was meaningful or helpful, and no action was taken. No follow-up whatsoever.
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Kellyanne, by his own admission, he sought the meeting. He agreed to the meeting because she was promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Isn’t that at minimum an attempt at collusion?
     
    CONWAY: No, and your colleague, Cecilia Vega, even said yesterday, as other responsible people have said — including members of the Obama administration under oath — there’s no evidence of collusion. We’re talking about collusion that doesn’t exist.
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: Kellyanne, actually I have to stop you right there because, Kellyanne, because that is not what Cecilia Vega said. Cecilia Vega was asked about that yesterday morning. That was before Don Jr. admitted that he sought the meeting to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton. That was when Don Jr.’s statement was simply that this was a meeting about adoption. That changed in the previous hours when he changed his story.
     
    CONWAY: Are you saying there’s evidence of collusion because everybody is trying to convert wishful thinking into hard evidence and they haven’t been able to do that. Let me get back to what you asked me about this meeting. I don’t think you had to go very far, respectfully, to find damaging information or negative information about Hillary Clinton. She was a gusher at all times of negative, damaging information. Your own polling showed that a majority of the country doesn’t — didn’t trust her at the time. She had no honesty and integrity. I didn’t have to look far as the campaign manager starting the next month to find damaging information. We would just quote her. People admit now she lit $1.2 billion on fire. She had no message that connected to America the way Donald Trump did.
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: Kellyanne —
     
    CONWAY: So there’s no evidence of collusion.
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re changing the subject here. Let’s go back to the original question.
     
    CONWAY: No, I’m not. This is the subject. Is there collusion? Yes or no.
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: Number one, why did the administration allow these denials to stand for so many months?
     

    CONWAY: The people involved in the meeting could answer those questions better for you, but as I understand it, George, people’s disclosure statements have been amended to reflect meetings such as this. And Don Jr. came forth this weekend and gave more information about the meeting. He also made very clear —
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: After denying it.
     
    CONWAY: That no information that was meaningful and helpful was gained from this. We have many different meetings in a campaign. Some of them are unhelpful and not particularly meaningful. I’m sure you can relate to that.
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Kellyanne, that’s beside the point. He was seeking the information. He was seeking the damaging information. That’s why he had the meeting. How is that appropriate?
     
    CONWAY: George, he was told that there would be information that may be helpful to the campaign. There was no such information. But, again, I want to ask you a question. If we’re going to keep using the word collusion, where is the evidence of collusion? What just happened last week is that you had — Putin and Trump had a conversation. That’s meaningful. They brokered a ceasefire in part of Syria. They talked about cybersecurity. The first order of business for President Trump that he pressed Putin on was interference in the election, uh, meddling in the election. Exactly what many in the media said would never happen, the president made the top priority and reportedly pressed him several times so — the conversation is real. The collusion is not.
     
    STEPHANOPOULOS: We know from Don Jr.’s own admission that he sought the meeting with the Russian because she would provide damaging information with Hillary Clinton. How can you say that is not at least an attempt at working with the Russians to hurt the Clinton campaign to help the Trump campaign?
    […continues…]

  2. reuters:
    SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 20 – A U.S. judge on Monday temporarily blocked an order by President Donald Trump that barred asylum for immigrants who enter the country illegally from Mexico, the latest courtroom defeat for Trump on immigration policy.
     

     
    U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order against the asylum rules. Tigar’s order takes effect immediately, applies nationwide, and lasts until at least Dec. 19 when the judge scheduled a hearing to consider a more long-lasting injunction.
    Representatives for the U.S. Department of Justice could not immediately be reached for comment.
    […continues…]

  3. next stop declaring martial law?   anyone dare to mention the words “posse comitatus” to him?

    the hill:

     

    President Trump is expected to give troops on the border the authority to protect Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel if they are attacked by migrants crossing into the country, CNN reported Monday, citing three U.S. officials.
    Currently, the troops at the border don’t have the authority to intervene if CBP personnel were to be attacked, CNN noted. The directive from Trump, which reportedly could be announced as soon as Monday night, will stipulate that any use of force by the troops must be “proportional.”
    Thousands of troops were deployed to the border earlier this month at the request of Trump, who has claimed that migrants fleeing violence in Central America and moving toward the border present a national security threat to the U.S.
    The move from Trump to grant troops the ability to protect CBP personnel would come as thousands of migrants in recent days reached the border city of Tijuana, Mexico.
    DHS spokesperson Katie Waldman told CNN that the agency “will not allow our frontline personnel to be in harm’s way.”
    “We will do everything we can to protect those who defend our nation’s sovereignty and secure our border. We appreciate the Department of Defense stepping in to assist the Department of Homeland Security as needed,” Waldman added.
    Politico reported Monday that the Pentagon is planning to withdrawal troops from the border as soon as this week.

     

  4. the hill:  Ocasio-Cortez signal of support is good news for Pelosi

    […]
    Speaking with supporters on her Instagram live feed, Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that the group of anti-Pelosi insurgents are mostly centrists who worry that handing power back to the San Francisco liberal would harm newly elected centrists who helped deliver Democrats the House majority this month.
    “Right now, out of the field, I would say that [Pelosi] is the most progressive candidate. All of the rebellion for the speakership are challenges to her right, and so I think it’s important to communicate that,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who boasts over 1 million Twitter followers and has been documenting her freshman orientation on Instagram. “My standard in this is: I’m going to support the most progressive candidate that’s leading the party, and right now, that is Nancy Pelosi, in terms of the running. I would like to see new, younger leadership, but I don’t want new leadership that’s more conservative.”
    […continues…]

  5. Thought Ocasio-Cortez played this well from the start, never boxed herself in one way or the other re: Pelosi, maximized her leverage for her support. She will get some very fine committee assignments.

  6. craig, her affinity to Bernie and Elizabeth would have been a bit hypercritical had she not added on the  “but I don’t want new leadership that’s more conservative” to her  “I would like to see new, younger leadership,” comment. 

    are there any other bernie newbies who need to heed her lead? 

  7. I agree that Ocasio-Cortez is doing a great job so far…  I’m so glad she got elected.

    and Kellyanne is Kellyanne…  what more needs to be said.

    I keep saying I need a break from politics.  But watching trump and his administration unraveling has been too delicious for me to resist.

  8. It’s perfectly logical, Mr Trump’s staying away from war zones. Look to Bob Hope as an example. He traveled to combat zones and what did it get him?? Now he’s dead!

  9. I was impressed by Pres Johnson’s visiting Vietnam. Among the troops he visited was his (drafted) son-in-law. He sure inherited a mess. It boosted my morale.

  10. I am hard pressed to see what the anti Pelosi faction wants. They have not been clear on that other than to say new leadership. At this point there is no one among that group that could secure the requisite number of votes to take the leadership position.

    Pelosi led them to the promised land they would do well to remember that. She has outlasted Boehner and Ryan I don’t think that she is simply fold her tent and leave now.

  11. I’m watching the trading in BRK-B. Very small lots now. The shares are down 6.8% compared to 2.8% for the ‘A’ shares. Unsophisticated investors leaving the baby shares without validation from the biguns. Presents an easy arbitrage opportunity.

  12. 38 and overcast In East Bumfuck. I’m going to the dentist to get a crown I swallowed replaced.

    Flatus, ole Bob should have had SFB’s doctor. If he thought SFB was in great shape with his deep fried fast food diet and thumbs only exercise regime he woulda thought bob would live forever.

  13. one more to go

    CNBC:
    Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith smilingly posed for a photo in 2014 while wearing a Confederate cap and holding a rifle, then put the image on her Facebook page with the words “Mississippi history at its best!”
     
    That image taken at a Mississippi museum resurfaced Tuesday as Walmart joined two other companies in asking the Republican Hyde-Smith to return campaign contributions because of controversy over her recent jest about being willing to attend a public “hanging.”
    Hyde-Smith is facing off against Democratic challenger Mike Espy in a run-off election on Nov. 27.
     
    Hyde-Smith’s tendency to put her foot in her mouth has made the Senate race a competitive one despite Mississippi’s status as an otherwise solidly dependable Republican-voting state.
     
    The New York Times reported Tuesday that a private Republican poll had found that Hyde-Smith holds just a 5-percentage point lead over Espy, a former U.S. Agriculture Secretary under President Bill Clinton and three-term Congressman from Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional district.
     
    Her campaign did not return a request for comment from CNBC on Tuesday after Politico reported on the Confderate-themed photo.
     
    Hyde-Smith had donned the rebel cap during a visit to the Biloxi, Mississippi, home of the president of the Confederate States of America, in August 2014. At the time, Hyde-Smith was serving agriculture and commerce commissioner of the state.
     
    “I enjoyed my tour of Beauvoir. The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library located in Biloxi,” Hyde-Smith wrote.
     
    “This is a must see. Currently on display are artifacts connected to the daily life of the Confederate Soldier including weapons. Mississippi history at its best!”
    […]
    On Nov. 2, Hyde-Smith, while attending a campaign stop in Tupelo, referred to a local rancher standing next to her, and said that e if he “invited me to a public hanging I’d be on the front row.”
     
    Also Monday, Hyde-Smith said that her campaign had returned a $2,700 donation from Peter Zieve, a businessman in Seattle, who was sued by the state of Washington in 2017 for refusing to hire Muslims at his aerospace company Electroimpact, and for expressing “hatred” of Muslims at work.
     
    Another video recently surfaced in which Hyde-Smith was heard saying, “Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult” for some people to vote.
     
    “And I think that’s a great idea.”
     

    [that vote quote as reported later by nbcnews:
    “And then they remind me that there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who … maybe we don’t want to vote,” Hyde-Smith is heard saying. “Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea.”]

  14. Is Hyde-Smith for real? She just seems like a really bad character in a really bad B movie about improbably obtuse people.

    I just can’t fathom how someone can trip over themselves so repeatedly and so stupidly.

     

  15. Ms Ocasio-Cortez is certainly charming.  I would feel better about her if I thought she could pass a high school civics class and wasn’t so totally tied to the Bernie cult.  She won her seat fairly by defeating a seated Congress Critter who had pretty well ignored his district.  Once she became the Democratic candidate, then the seat was almost guaranteed in that part of New York.  She has a lot of on the job training to do and fast.  If she’s ambitious enough which seems obvious, then she will tuck herself under Nancy’s wing and hit the books. 

  16. There are (very few) times when I just don’t think my words are sufficient to describe my outrage at SFB, and the disclosure of the asswipe’s desire to order the prosecution of Clinton and Comey, thwarted by McGhan, may be one of those times. Stack that on his idiotic comments about the Camp Fire and his support of Ashoggi’s killer and Jesus H Christmas, can he POSSIBLY be any less hinged?His arrogance combined with his utter amorality, not to mention his ignorance of constitutional limitations on his baser urges really seem to have no limits. I hope he dies a painful natural death soon. None of this dying peacefully in his sleep shit.

  17. Pogo

    You make this so easy:  DITTO!!!  I’m doing the best I can with my Trump voodoo doll and the interestingly placed needles.

     

  18. Jamie, I haven’t been following Ocasio closely so I was somewhat alarmed to notice, in a couple of the post-election photos, what seemed to be bulging of her eyes. Obviously, if this is something new, then she needs to be seen. But, if it’s normal for her, then I’ll sigh with relief and say okay while sighing with relief.

  19. I don’t understand why it hasn’t been pointed out more often that the people who don’t want Nancy P are right of center Democrats — the new people are not.  As one of them said — not interested in change for change’s sake

  20. the third guy in the Mississippi race got 16% of the vote and he was to the right of hangin Hyde-Smith so that’s where she is headed

  21. Jamie. They have a (stupid) saying around here- I’m on my last nerve. I feel like I’m among the rednecks and am with them on their last nerves – of course they love the moron so we’re not exactly on the same page.

  22. So Fudge says fuh_ this running against Nancy. The 16 are now looking for an opponent to Nancy. Best of luck with that. So are they going to try and drop shit in the dem oatmeal just because they think they can?  How has this worked in the past- like 2 years ago?

  23. pogo, thanks for mentioning that times report.  bet this has been clipped and put in the dem-to-be House “I” file along with other evidence.

    NY Times:
    WASHINGTON — President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation.
    The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.
    The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. It took on additional significance in recent weeks when Mr. McGahn left the White House and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting attorney general.
    t is unclear whether Mr. Trump read Mr. McGahn’s memo or whether he pursued the prosecutions further. But the president has continued to privately discuss the matter, including the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Comey, according to two people who have spoken to Mr. Trump about the issue. He has also repeatedly expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton, calling him weak, one of the people said.

    […]

    Mr. Trump’s lawyers also privately asked the Justice Department last year to investigate Mr. Comey for mishandling sensitive government information and for his role in the Clinton email investigation. Law enforcement officials declined their requests. Mr. Comey is a witness against the president in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

    Mr. Trump has grown frustrated with Mr. Wray for what the president sees as his failure to investigate Mrs. Clinton’s role in the Obama administration’s decision to allow the Russian nuclear agency to buy a uranium mining company. Conservatives have long pointed to donations to the Clinton family foundation by people associated with the company, Uranium One, as proof of corruption. But no evidence has emerged that those donations influenced the American approval of the deal.

    Mr. Trump repeatedly pressed Justice Department officials about the status of Clinton-related investigations, including Mr. Whitaker when he was the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations. CNN first reported those discussions.

  24. wapo:

    Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith apologizes to anyone ‘offended’ by comments about public hanging as opponent Mike Espy says she gave the state a ‘black eye’

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