The Shadiest Show On Earth had a big ring set up in the House of Representatives Wednesday, as Michael Cohen finally got around to taking the stand, while on the other side of the world, Trump is meeting with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam, sporting his fine new coiffure. If you haven’t gotten a peek at that, let’s do so without further ado.
I guess we're all supposed to pretend we don't notice Trump dyed his hair a new color sometime between leaving Washington and landing in Vietnam? Were they out of pale circus peanut? pic.twitter.com/X22PH6k6Fv
— Katie (@ktbobaytee) February 26, 2019
Why a sitting U.S. president would dye his hair a new color before meeting with a murderous tyrant on the other side of the globe is a case of first impression.
Trump purportedly stayed up all night to watch the Cohen show. From what’s already transpired, he must be sweating bullets. CNN:
Wednesday’s hearing sets the stage for a classic Washington split-screen: Cohen will be testifying publicly the same day that Trump is in Vietnam for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, albeit the two events will be occurring on opposite sides of the world with a 12-hour time difference between Washington and Hanoi.___White House officials in Washington will be watching Cohen’s testimony and taking notes, in case the President wants to be briefed on what was said, according to a senior White House official. The official told CNN the expectation is, however, that Trump will stay up overnight in Hanoi and watch Wednesday’s hearing.
Meanwhile, the Cohen show has not disappointed. It’s a first rate farce, complete with GOP reps live-trolling Cohen, trying to break his concentration — so far unsuccessfully.
Oversight Republicans are live-trolling Cohen by putting up poster boards of tweets from the Twitter account “Women for Cohen.”
Cohen tried hard not to glance at them, and they didn’t appear to break his concentration. But he has to have seen them. pic.twitter.com/dfOFFZrOrp
— Griffin Connolly (@GriffinConnolly) February 27, 2019
The last time I saw something like this was a scene from “Ron Burgundy: Anchorman,” where the good ole boys in the newsroom were doing everything to break the concentration of the female anchor, making her debut, by making faces and stripping down to their shorts, off camera, but in her sight line. Apparently, the current iteration of Republican congresspeople is cut from the same bolt of cloth. And this is on top of Matt Gaetz’ ill advised tweet, which has been characterized as both witness tampering and witness intimidation, and which has landed him in hot water with the State Bar of Florida.
Cohen’s testimony for the day concluded a short while ago, and GOP reps offered no defense of their standard bearer, Donald Trump. In lieu of any substantive defense all day long, the best they could come up with was damning innuendo and inference that Cohen’s sole motivation in testifying is to make a bundle of money with book and movie deals. Evidently, since they lack facts with which to defend Trump, they’re putting all their eggs in the basket of ruining Cohen’s credibility, as is the RNC and the White House. Roll Call:
GOP Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky countered Connolly’s questioning by asking Cohen whether Trump had explicitly told him to lie to Congress or if Cohen had simply relied on his “intuition.”
“So you just went on your intuition?” Massie asked.
“I don’t know if I would call it intuition as much as i would just say, my knowledge of what he wanted, because it happened before and I knew what he had wanted.”
Asked by Massie about how Trump would communicate indirectly with subordinates, Cohen replied, “That’s how he speaks. He doesn’t give you questions, he doesn’t give you orders — he speaks in a code. And I understand the code because I’ve been around him for a decade.”
This provided a moment of comic relief.
Cashing in: In an apparent attempt to uncover Cohen’s motivations for appearing publicly and delivering incendiary allegations about the president, GOP Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee asked Cohen what his source of income would be while he was in prison.
“I don’t expect I’m going to have a source of income when I’m in the federal penitentiary,” Cohen said, to laughter from the room.
Cohen said that he does not have a book deal, but he has been contacted by numerous filmmakers, publishers, and other media agents about telling his inside account of the Trump Organization and 2016 campaign.
“I have no book deal in the process. I’ve been contacted by many including for television, movie,” he said. “If you want to tell me who you would like to play you, I’m more than happy to write the name down?” Cohen told Green.
It’s been patently obvious all day that none of the Republicans are defending Trump on the merits of the case, but who should actually come forward and be the first to assert this fact? Amazingly, Chris Christie, once Trump’s golden boy and front runner for the vice presidential slot on the GOP ticket.
Chris Christie on Michael Cohen testimony: "There hasn't been one Republican yet who's tried to defend the president on the substance. I think that's something that should be concerning to the White House." https://t.co/eXApIk4Hyq pic.twitter.com/DnTkHKNWkC
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 27, 2019
More of what Christie said:
“Why are no Republicans standing up and defending the president on the substance? And that’s either a failure of those Republicans on the Hill, or a failure on the White House to have a unified strategy with them. They knew what was coming with Michael Cohen. So I think it’s going to, as the day go on, it’s going to get tired of hearing the attacks on Cohen’s credibility. He’s not a credible witness, but he does have corroboration on certain things. Where’s the defense of the president?”
Even Chris Wallace pointed out on Fox News that the GOP has done nothing to shake Cohen’s allegations, all they’ve done so far is attack his credibility.
“They haven’t refuted his basic allegations against the president. And you say they’re doing the best they can. It may be that they don’t have any evidence to refute,” Wallace said. “To some degree, they can’t sit there and refute the checks to the degree that Cohen has said things, and it’s just basically his word. All they have is the president has denied that.”
He added, “They haven’t done anything to really say, basic allegations about the president, they’ve done a lot to shake his credibility. In terms of the allegations, they haven’t defended it. Is there anything out there that the White House could have given them to defend against the claims that Michael Cohen is making?”
Fox News is losing it right now, by the way. Take :33 of your time and listen to this. This is Defcon 1, in Fox world, with talking heads yelling at other talking heads to shut up. Hannity must be standing by the water cooler, washing down valium with gin, wondering how he’s going to spin the Cohen testimony into a win for the troops tonight, which Trump is expecting him to do. On that you may depend.
Well Fox is an absolute dumpster fire right now pic.twitter.com/DWY8Ub4N4p
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) February 27, 2019
Then Alan Dershowitz chimed in, saying that it was a grim day for attorney-client privilege, until George Stephanopoulos informed him that Cohen was testifying in his capacity as vice president of the Trump Organization, rather than as Trump’s personal lawyer.
Tuesday night the RNC put together a “war room” to counter Cohen’s testimony.
In an interview with Fox News, RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel accused Democrats of bringing Cohen to Congress “in an effort to distract from the historic progress President Trump is making overseas with North Korea.”
“Convicted felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying, including lies he told under oath to Congress,” McDaniel said. “This whole charade is not about truth, it is a last ditch effort to save face and cast blame on everyone but himself for his crimes.”
But former CIA Director John Brennan has a different idea about who’s to blame and for what.
Committee Republicans are making no effort to find truth. They are failing their Constitutional responsibilities by covering up the corruption of a sitting President. What is happening to the soul & integrity of the once storied Republican Party? https://t.co/auulqGwrbE
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) February 27, 2019
If the cultural civil war in this country wasn’t blazing hot enough before, it’s in full conflagration right now. Cohen returns to congress tomorrow for a a third day, this time in-house testimony, only, and pundits are going to be parsing through today’s hearing for weeks to come. Disinformation, as disseminated by the GOP vs. Truth, as dispassionately observed by everybody else. It is that black and white, unfortunately.
When all is said and done, only one group is going to be standing, either America as we know it, or Trump and the complicit GOP’s version of Amerika.
Who knows, maybe Trump will ask his BFF, Kim Jong Un, if he’s got any missiles with the capacity to hit Michael Cohen?
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