His very strange recent performances: In a news report in this morning's Washington Post, Hamburger and Helderman have walked back Lanny Davis' very strange performances representing Michael Cohen.
Actually, no! Cohen isn't claiming that Donald J. Trump had advance knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting, at least not according to the new and improved Lanny Davis. Also, there's this:
HAMBURGER AND HELDERMAN (8/27/18): In his interview with The Post, Davis also hedged on an idea he widely promoted after Cohen’s guilty plea: that the longtime Trump loyalist had information that Trump knew of the Russian hacking of Democratic emails ahead of time.As Davis has walked back his various claims, Donald J. Trump has struck. The Post reports the blowback from the skillful commander in chief:
Davis floated that idea in numerous broadcast interviews in recent days, repeatedly touting his client’s potential value to Mueller.
HAMBURGER AND HELDERMAN: Trump and his allies seized on the erosion of those claims.Oof! You may not hear a lot about this on MSNBC this evening. But this is the sort of thing which tells Trump supporters that some sort of Deep State witch hunt is underway—and that, as a famous statesman recently told them, the things they see and hear in the press aren't what's actually happening.
“Michael Cohen’s attorney clarified the record, saying his client does not know if President Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting (out of which came nothing!),” Trump tweeted Saturday. “The answer is that I did NOT know about the meeting. Just another phony story by the Fake News Media!”
Davis' efforts on behalf of Cohen last week were just flat-out weird. Meanwhile, Chris Cuomo told an anecdote about Cohen which may help illustrate the general credibility of Davis' client, who Davis may or may not have spoken to at some point in his life.
Cuomo was speaking with Kellyanne Conway. It seemed to us that this anecdote cut largely in Kellyanne's favor:
CUOMO (8/23/18): Michael Cohen had a conversation with me. He asked me—excuse me. He asked me not to record it. I said I won't.Cuomo angrily praised his own integrity. As he did, it wasn't clear to us that he understood the way his story played from Conway's perspective.
He said, "Just to be careful, let me have your phone," I said here. He then said, "We'll take our phones. I'll put them away."
He did. He recorded me on a secondary device.
CONWAY: How do you feel about that?
CUOMO: I think that that was dishonest and it was a bad thing to do.
CUOMO: And I'll tell you what? You know what we talked about in the conversation? I'm not going to tell you. You know why? Because it was off-the-record and I respect that, even though he did me wrong. That's called integrity.
From Conway's perspective, this anecdote means that Cohen is a person whose word can't be trusted—even now, now that he has started making accusations against his former boss. Cuomo was in such a lather by this point, it wasn't clear to us that he understood the drift of the story he told.
Our world—rather, our upper-end society—is full of ridiculous figures. In our view, Trump is the most ridiculous figure of all—and, of course, the most dangerous.
That said, many other ridiculous figures are playing ball on our own liberal team. It's important to keep clear on this point—but only if you want to execute your basic citizen's duty.
One final point:
We were amazed by Trump's numbers in two recent NBC/Wall Street Journal polls.
In the days before the Manafort verdict and the Cohen plea, Trump was only barely underwater, with 46 percent favorable, 51 percent not.
That was only one poll, of course. The numbers went to 44-52 after the Manafort verdicts and the Cohen plea.
That was also only one poll. But those strike us as amazingly decent numbers for Trump. Our own prejudice would be to suggest that our liberal team's tribal strategy—the strategy of the endless, nonstop and ubiquitous Chase—may not be working especially well.
Our team talks about nothing except The Chase. It's abundantly clear that there's nothing else our big stars care about.
Our stars can barely even bring themselves to mention the children Trump has stolen from their parents. We seem to lack any values at all, except those of The Chase.
We look like we're conducting a hunt! But then, our upper-end society is full of ridiculous figures, many of whom, like it or not, are playing on our team.
Many of us choose to gulp every bowl of porridge we're fed by our major stars. We're so old that we can remember when liberals were wise enough to mistrust authority figures.
Mistrust but try to verify! Remember when we would do that?