BREAKING: The Washington Post walks Lanny back!


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.

Davis floated that idea in numerous broadcast interviews in recent days, repeatedly touting his client’s potential value to Mueller.
As Davis has walked back his various claims, Donald J. Trump has struck. The Post reports the blowback from the skillful commander in chief:
HAMBURGER AND HELDERMAN: Trump and his allies seized on the erosion of those claims.

“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!”
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.

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.

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.

CONWAY: Dishonest—

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.
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.

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?


  1. "Lanny Davis' very strange performances"

    Not strange at all. He was, after all, one of the most repulsive liberal hacks of the 90s.

    "But this is the sort of thing which tells Trump supporters that some sort of Deep State witch hunt is underway"

    Dear Bob. To deny this particular Deep State witch hunt, one would have to be a completely decomposed lib-zombie. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it.

  2. It's a witch hunt, because its entire premise is phony. The justification for giving Mueller these broad powers was supposed to be that Trump's collusion with Russia in the election was horrendous. But, Mueller has found no such collusion.

    Analogy: Women is charged with being a witch and burned at the stake. The inquisitor acknowledges that the she wasn't actually a witch, but justifies the burning because a former employee cheated on his income tax before he ever worked for this unlucky woman.

    1. How on God's green earth do you know what Mueller has or hasn't found?

    2. If MIchael Cohen is innocent, and if he falsely implicates others, then we may speak of a witch hunt.

    3. The much-maligned Alan Dershowitz has made the interesting point that if Trump paid off Stormy with his personal funds, then he committed no crime, even assuming that the money was a campaign contribution. You’re allowed to spend your own money without limit on your own campaign. There’s still the issue of not reporting the expenditure, but the criminal liability for that lies with the campaign, not with the candidate. Now it seems that Trump directed the Trump Organization to pay the hush money, and that’s an illegal corporate contribution.

      But suppose that Cohen thought that the hush money came from the Trump Organization, but he’s mistaken. I.e., suppose the hush money came directly out of Trump’s pocket. Cohen certainly has the mens rea. Hell, none of the Trump grifters has had an innocent thought in years. And Cohen has certainly confessed to the actus reus because he thought he’d been caught with his hand in a corporate cookie jar.

      But what if he’s wrong?

      Paging Lady Eldon. Lady Eldon to the United States Attorney’s office.

    4. This hush money has nothing to do with the Trump's supposed collusion with Russia. In practice, Mueller's goal seems to be to investigate any Trump associate for any potential crime whatsoever that may be have been committed at any time whatsoever. Meanwhile, Mueller is not investigating others who did have some sort of connection with Russia in the preparation of the Steel Dossier. In short, the special prosecutor is more of a GET TRUMP effort than an INVESTIGATE RUSSIA effort.

    5. As a public service announcement, let me once again advise readers that David in Cal is

      a moral and intellectual idiot.

      You may disregard anything he has to say

      For those of you keeping score, chalk up four more on the side of reality. David is still at zero:

      1. Of course the hush money has nothing to do with Trump’s undoubted collusion with Putin. These charges were brought by the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York. Nothing to do with Mueller.

      2. Like any special prosecutor, Mueller has the mandate to investigate any suspected crimes he uncovers in the course of his work. That’s the way these things work, much to the chagrin of people like Paul Manafort. It’s how Starr managed to turn an investigation into the Whitewater land deal into an investigation of oral sex in the Oval Office.

      3. Nobody not involved in the investigation has any idea what Mueller is or is not investigating. The man runs a very tight ship. It’s unlikely though that anybody involved with the Steele dossier would be a target, since the opposition (both anti-Trump Republicans and the Clinton campaign) hired an American firm, Fusion GPS, to compile the information. But who knows? Certainly, not David. About this or about anything else.

      4. Here are the people that Mueller was out to “get” and who’ve been gotten:

      George Papadopoulos
      Michael Flynn
      Richard Pinedo
      Alex Van der Zwaan
      Rick Gates
      Paul Manafort

      There are 26 Russians and 3 Russian corporations under indictment.

      Trump isn’t on the list. Yet. All we really know is that Mueller wants to interview Trump. Cadet Bonespurs, courageous as ever, has yet to agree.

    6. Bob of late always likes his thumb on the scale. Gallup has Trump approval at 41%, down from last week. There are several polls with high grades from 538 that have Trump's approval at 38-39%. Trump's approval has been bouncing around 40% for most of his presidency. There is no evidence Trump's approval is related to any liberal strategy; however, Trump continues to have historically low approval numbers.

    7. Meanwhile, Mueller is not investigating others who did have some sort of connection with Russia in the preparation of the Steel Dossier.

      David, what the fuck is wrong with you? Seriously, at long last, what in god's name is the fuck wrong with you?

      What would you prefer Robert Mueller be doing instead of investigating how the criminal and corrupt Russian government helped elect that shitstain on our country you so worship?

      Would you prefer Mueller expose Steele's sources inside Russia who risk their fucking lives to help our side? Friend or Foe, David, you treasonous bastard. Do you know the difference? Your traitorous allies in the GOP Congress are already responsible for the murder of one of Fusion's sources according to testimony given to one of the congressional committees.

      During his recently released August 2017 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Glenn Simpson was asked about sources for the sensational dossier, which Simpson’s firm, Fusion GPS, commissioned. Responding for him, Simpson’s lawyer, Joshua Levy, blurted out a surprising warning: “Somebody’s already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier.”

      But don't worry, David, Devin Nunes is on the case!!!!

      Devin Nunes’s Curious Trip to London

      The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee flew to London to gather intel on Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled the dossier alleging Trump-campaign ties with Russia. But MI5, MI6, and GCHQ didn’t seem interested.


      Our tax dollars at work.

      David, do you ultimately want Mueller to get the answers as to how Russia attacked our election? It doesn't appear so. Do you want the President of the United States to answer any and all questions Robert Mueller may have? It doesn't appear so.

      What then do you want? It appears you want to investigate the investigation, even before it has been completed. This isn't a blow job Mr. Mueller is investigating. You get that, don't you David?

      You cheered for 6 years as you watched 3 Special Prosecutors in succession try to hang President Clinton over a failed land investment he made 15 years before he was elected President, and then you cheered when your party decided to drag this country to its knees in the gutter by impeaching President Clinton because he tried to conceal consensual blow jobs.

      Now you seem to want to limit Mr. Mueller. Anything that happened before Trump was elected, like maybe laundering money for the Russian mob, is apparently off limits to you. Why is that David? Do you not see the blatant hypocrisy?

  3. "Actually, no! Cohen isn't claiming that Donald J. Trump had advance knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting,"

    This Howler post certainly doesn't shed much light on this situation. In fact, it adds to the confusion. Throughout the discussion about this, it is Davis who has been making claims about what Cohen knows, not Cohen himself.

    First of all, in his "walk back", Davis didn't say Cohen "isn't claiming that Donald J. Trump had advance knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting,". Davis simply said "he cannot confirm media reports that Cohen is prepared to tell special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that Trump had advance knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting", according to the Washington Post.

    But more importantly: When did Davis actually state that Cohen knew that Trump had advance knowledge of the meeting? If you read Davis' statements closely, you realize he never specifically said that.

  4. What do you say, how about another Ella Fitzgerald performance?

    1. Ella Fitzgerald is always wonderful. She idolized the Boswell Sisters' lead singer Connee Boswell, later saying, "My mother brought home one of her records, and I fell in love with it."

      The Boswell Sisters are a real treat. Here's one of my favorites.

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