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Horowitz: Russia is No Hoax

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

 

Rob Horowitz

It appeared up until recently that the attorney hired by the White House to manage the Russia investigation, Ty Cobb had actually succeeded in persuading President Trump that it was not in his interest to continue to regularly tweet and issue other comments about special counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

But, perhaps anticipating yesterday’s indictments of former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, a Manafort Associate who played a major role on the Trump campaign, and George Papadopoulos, a Trump foreign policy advisor, Trump is now back in full roar.  And as usual, he is doing himself no favors, making outrageous claims that have little or no basis in fact.

The President is back to calling the whole thing a’ hoax.’ Given that the evidence of Russian interference in the election in an effort to tip the scales to President Trump continues to mount and  is even confirmed by members of his own National Security team, all this all too familiar song by President Trump is doing is solidifying the opinion of an overwhelming majority of Americans that he is dishonest.  

He also continues to say that there is nothing to the charge of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Whether or not the contacts that continue to emerge between key members of the Trump campaign as well as close business associates of the president end up amounting to planned and active collusion is yet to be determined. But we are well past the point of anyone credibly saying there is nothing to it at all.

Yesterday’s indictments do not show collusion, but they are damaging nonetheless.  At a minimum, they show Trump used very poor judgment in hiring Paul Manafort to head his Presidential campaign. Manafort and Gates are charged with money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and filing false statements, mainly stemming from their work for Pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. Papadopoulos plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Professor with ties to the Russian government, who according to prosecutors, took an interest in him because of his role as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign.

Trump and his allies continue to attempt to deflect attention to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats' funding of opposition research against Trump that explored his ties to Russia.  While they have a point that this information should have been disclosed earlier, Hillary Clinton is not in the White House; Trump is.   That is where the focus will stay and where it belongs.

President Trump should go back to listening to Ty Cobb.  Trump’s ham-handed attempts at damage control are only making a bad situation worse, shredding what little shred of credibility with the American public he has left.

Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates.. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island

 

 

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