So Rudy interview with Hannity. The takeaway from the Rudy interview is that somehow Rudy really stepped in it by acknowledging that Trump was aware of the $130,000 payment to Stormy when Trump had said that he wasn’t. There’s no doubt in my mind why Rudy did this. Rudy Giuliani is not stupid. Don’t forget, there was a raid of Cohen’s office. And if Trump and Rudy figure something was procured during the raid and they know what it is, they’re gonna get out in front of it or try to get out in front of it.
What this is all gonna boil down to once again is was this payment that Cohen made to the porn star, was it actually to help Trump win the presidency, or was it essentially to protect Trump’s marriage? And if it was made to protect Trump’s marriage, there’s nothing illegal about this, it doesn’t even involve the campaign. And everybody I’ve spoken to today says it would be practically impossible to actually get a conviction anywhere on this payment having anything to do with violating campaign finance laws.
But you see the law doesn’t matter. We’re now in the court of public opinion. The effort here is to designed to convince low-information voters, potential jurors, whoever, that Trump broke campaign finance laws and that Rudy just admitted it. So that’s what they’re all focused on now. Of everything said by Caputo, everything said by Rudy, that’s all the Drive-Bys are focused on today.
And in fact, I just got a late-arriving sound bite here, and it’s No. 25. Just happened on CNN. Dana Bash asking former Bill Clinton investigation deputy independent counsel Solomon Wisenberg about Rudy’s statements last night that Trump reimbursed Cohen in the Stormy Daniels case. Dana Bash says, “What do you make of Giuliani’s legal strategy here?”
WISENBERG: Metaphorically murdered the president and committed suicide with respect to his own reputation. It was an incredibly embarrassing interview. Look. When you’re representing anybody, much less the president of the United States, you have to know that when you go on television and you make statements on his behalf, that’s admissible in court. It does not matter who makes the payment under campaign finance law. The key is the purpose. If it’s the purpose to influence a political campaign, it must be reported. Reporting is a key here.
RUSH: Okay. So you see where they think this is headed or where they think they can take it. “This payment was designed to help Trump win the election. This was designed to keep bad news away so Trump wouldn’t be negatively impacted by it in his desire to win the presidency.” But what if the payment had nothing to do with that? What if the payment was simply to keep peace at home and it has nothing to do with the campaign? And they’re gonna have a hell of a time proving that this had any kind of a political connotation to it.
Now, Rudy going on TV and talking about this, again, remember, Cohen’s office has been raided. The Southern District of New York, the U.S. attorney has everything that Cohen had. They know. Rudy and Trump and everybody else on Trump’s team know. So I think this is an effort to get out in front of things. How many times have they thought they had Trump now? And they think they’ve got Trump again.
Now they’ve got Rudy ’cause Rudy has committed suicide and murder. Rudy murdered Trump last night and then killed himself in one interview. They think Rudy made a mistake. But Rudy is just trying to speed the process up. So let’s make some assumptions. Let us assume that Trump’s lawyer, Cohen, did take out a loan to pay Stormy Daniels, the porn star, and Cohen has said that he had to take out a loan. And he further said that Trump’s personal bank account was the source of him being reimbursed for that loan.
If that’s the scenario, then I’m telling you, it is going to be very hard to call that a campaign expense. Cohen could say, “To hell with that. I’m trying to save the guy’s marriage. I’m trying to keep this out of the news. I’m trying to save his marriage. You got somebody out there smearing him with a lie like this about an affair that didn’t happen. I’m just trying to keep the peace. We got a whole lot of things going on out there. This had nothing to do with the campaign.” I’m sure that whatever the Feds got in their raid, they’ve got a version of this story that they want to tell themselves.
There’s a parallel to this, and that’s the John Edwards case when the Drive-Bys knew that he was flitting around, had an affair and a child out of wedlock while his wife was sick, the Drive-Bys knew the story, ignored it. The National Enquirer is the only outfit that published it and they dragged the Drive-By Media in later with them. But back then, John Edwards, they tried to say that the payments he was making to this mistress were a campaign finance violation, and they tried to get him convicted on that. They couldn’t. Edwards was found guilty on other things, but not that.
Now, Trump has then tweeted: “Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties.”
What Trump is saying: “I paid the guy retainer and then every month I send him some money and out of that pile I send him he decides to make some expenditures. I don’t know about some of them. Some of them I do. I pay a lot of lawyers to do a lot of things. And my lawyer has a trust account where I got money in there that’s for various legal purposes that might arise.” And Trump is saying that’s what happened here. It had nothing to do with the campaign. But the media is going to try to make the exact opposite point. In fact, that’s all they’ve been trying to do since last night.
RUSH: Okay. Here you go. NBC News is the source here. “Feds Tapped Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen’s Phones — At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted, a source said. Federal investigators have wiretapped the phone lines of Michael Cohen, according to two people with knowledge of the legal proceedings involving Cohen.
“It is not clear how long the wiretap has been authorized, but NBC News has learned it was in place in the weeks leading up to the raids on Cohen’s offices, hotel room,” bathrooms, wherever else they raided. “At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted, the person said.”
Now, folks, I want to call your attention once again to the story from Mollie Hemingway today. “Manafort lawyers claim the Mueller investigation has provided no evidence of contacts with Russian officials — In a new filing demanding a full hearing on what Paul Manafort’s lawyers say is a series of illegal governmental leaks about his case, his legal team also reveals the government has provided no evidence of any contact between Manafort and Russian officials.”
In fact, Mueller’s office says it has no evidence in its possession responsive to the request from Manafort’s lawyers for transcripts, notes, or tapes of anything to do with Manafort dealing or talking with Russians. However, throughout the past year, NBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN have all run stories claiming the special counsel has evidence of Manafort being in contact with and discussing things with Russian government officials.
But today or yesterday, the special counsel’s office, “No, we don’t have anything, when they were specifically asked for it by Manafort’s lawyers.” So what it means is that somebody in the special counsel’s office has been lying. Have been lying to the media, have been leaking to the media for the past year that Manafort, that they have evidence that Manafort has been communicating with Russians.
Now, my point here is there’s a whole lot of lying going on on the Mueller side of things, a whole lot of lying going on on the investigation side of things, and these lies are leaks. So now we have a story from NBC, a couple of anonymous sources, “Oh, yeah, there was a wiretap of Cohen, and we nailed Cohen calling the White House.”
The wise thing to do, based on intelligence guided by experience is to simply not believe most of what you hear for the first time in, quote, unquote, the news. There have been so many lies that have been leaked about Trump and Russia and collusion for two years now, and there has never been any evidence produced that confirms these leaks.
Well, you know the drill by now. There isn’t any collusion except between Hillary, her campaign, the DNC, and the Russians. But the point is, the media is filled with out-and-out lies, purposeful lies that are leaked that are designed to shape public opinion and maybe down the road shape the opinion of people who might end up on a grand jury or a trial jury. They’re just openly lying. They’re just openly making things up.
So now the big news, “Oh, my God. We got a wiretap. Cohen called the White House.” Now everybody’s gonna be beating down the door trying to find out what’s on that call. Was Cohen calling Trump to talk about Stormy? Or whatever else they want to make up now. It’s a sad state of affairs when the gut reaction to any news story today has to be, “I don’t believe it.” But that would be the wisest thing all of us could do, is simply reject it.
If it comes to the New York Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, just reject it. If it’s true, there be plenty of time for that to be demonstrated. But don’t let them have your mind and don’t let them have your opinion right off the box. Make ’em work for it. Because as things stand now, they don’t have 90% of what they’ve claimed they’ve got. It may be more than that they don’t have.
RUSH: Rudy appeared last night on the Fox News Channel with Sean Hannity and other interviews later this morning back on Fox with some other people. And the reaction to Rudy, in particular his explanation of the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a couple people, I think more than a couple, think that Rudy stepped in it here. That Rudy has unknowingly just destroyed Trump here, just nailed Trump to the wall on an illegal campaign donation or some other violation of federal election campaign finance law.
I have a different take on this. And it’s all predicated on the fact that Rudy and Trump both know that Cohen’s office had been raided. Now we’re told that Cohen’s phone calls and his phone lines had been tapped. And so they have to believe, they have to operate on the assumption that the Feds know what Cohen did and why and when and so forth, and so there would be no sense now in telling anything at variance with that, in an effort to get in front of it, in an effort to kind of negate it or nullify it.
There’s no sense in maintaining a story or telling a story that is at variance with what you think they have learned based on the Cohen raids. I think that is probably a good explanation for why Rudy is even dealing with this or even talking about it. It’s fascinating to me that because the left and because the media so desperately want Trump to have committed some violation of law somewhere that they just knee-jerk reaction assume that it’s happened.
And yet every instance in this investigation for two years now, how many times have we been told, how many leaks have there been, how many stories have been written and aired about all of these so-called violations that not only Trump engaged in, but members of his campaign, members of his administration. And yet, as we sit here today, nobody can announce a single ethical or criminal violation that Trump has made. And yet over these two years — and, by the way, every one of these instances has a short life span.
It started out collusion with Russia. Then when that didn’t work out, they move on to obstruction of justice. When that didn’t work out, they move back to collusion. When that doesn’t work out, they move on to something else. And every new story they have, they act like this is it, this is the smoking gun, this is what we’re gonna get Trump with, forgetting that they’ve already told us for two years however many smoking guns they’ve thought they’ve had. And none of them amounted to anything. And the same thing is gonna happen with this $130,000 payment.
These people get way ahead of themselves because they’re unable to keep their desires in check. And so they stumble across a piece of news, and they make it fit into the story that they are weaving, and they start reporting onto as though it fits the narrative that they have established. And then time goes on, and we find out the narrative’s all wrong because the facts are all wrong.
So they drop that, and they move on to some new, recent discovery that Trump supposedly did this or did that. And this has become a cycle that keeps repeating. And with every new so-called discovery, everybody’s emotions get all ramped up again. “Oh, my God, look what they found on Trump! Oh, my God, it’s over! Oh, my God, did Trump really do that? Oh, my God!” and they start the cycle, and it never ends, it just keeps repeating.
And at the end of each one of these cycles they have bupkus. What really frosts everybody, they haven’t got anything. I don’t think, in modern American politics, there’s anybody who’s been investigated any more than Donald Trump has. You look at the number of people, the number of agencies, the amount of money that’s been spent trying to find anything that would be useful or that would work in getting rid of Donald Trump. This guy must be amazingly clean.
You know, they’re still desperately hoping to get those tax records. Oh, yeah. The tax returns, because that’s gonna prove whatever they think it’s gonna prove. They’ve got it in their heads all of these crimes that Trump has committed. And something else that’s damaging. As each one of these episodes comes up, as each new discovery of potential Trump criminality or malfeasance, then all kinds of things get put into gear. We have the legal analysis; we have punditry; we have the bloggers. And they all start examining in detail every possible outcome related to this new discovery.
And in the process, every premise is accepted! Every one of these premises at some point has been accepted. The first premise, Trump colluded with Russia. The premise was accepted, a lot of people believed it and waited for the evidence to be found, but no evidence was found because the premise was wrong. Then they moved to the premise of obstruction. And they can’t find any evidence of obstruction. Mueller can’t find anything yet. It’s time to shut this down, but they’re gonna keep looking. But whole industries have been created. We have legal pundits, we have legal bloggers, and with every new discovery we get months — well, maybe not months. We get days and sometimes weeks of analysis and careful analysis and thought about what could have gone on and where is Trump culpable and what does maybe Trump have to escape this, when there’s nothing to begin with.
And yet accepting each premise that Trump has committed a crime serves to establish a baseline foundation that Trump is corrupt, when no evidence of this has been found. This $130,000 payment is the most recent example of the hysteria that attaches itself to each new discovery. And, by the way, each new discovery may have two or three life spans. Like, this is the third life span of the $130,000 payment.
It used to be that we were looking for a guy that threatened Stormy in a parking garage in Vegas. And we had the sketch done, and the sketch looked like it was Tom Brady. We had to throw that out ’cause Tom Brady wouldn’t have been threatening Stormy. So had to throw that out. Whatever became of that? See, this is the point. All these things we learn that’s gonna get Trump, ’cause everybody knows Trump hired that guy, right, Trump hired the guy, or Cohen did, to go tell Stormy that she’s got a beautiful daughter, it’d be a shame if anything ever happened to her.
What ever became of that? It’s just over there, it’s been forgotten. The Drive-By Media causes an absolute firestorm over something, get everybody all worked up about it. Then some new thing happens, new premise, everybody off on that, everybody forgets the previous thing, but it has a cumulative effect, particularly in the minds of the low-information voters that Trump is corrupt, that they just can’t find it, the guy’s that good, Trump is that good at hiding his crimes.