So yesterday Trump got his tweets about Manafort's indictment from his buddies on Fox & Friends:
“It makes you wonder about the credibility of the whole thing,” host Brian Kilmeade said of news of an impending indictment, after noting that federal investigators have leaked grand-jury information to the press on multiple occasions.
If the charges are related to Manafort, Kilmeade added, then maybe it’s “something that happened before he even joined the Trump administration.” (It was, though Manafort never actually joined the administration.)
Further seeking to comfort their key demographic of U.S. presidents aged 71 and watching from D.C., co-host Steve Doocy added: “[Republican Senator] Susan Collins said there’s no evidence of collusion. That’s important, but there are a couple of stories out there that Paul Manafort apparently back in 2012 apparently he had some money infusions from overseas to the tune of $3 million.” (Collins actually said she has “not yet seen any definitive evidence of collusion.”)
That same day Sarah Huckabee Sanders opened the press conference with: well, it was weird:
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided to open the press briefing not with an acknowledgement of the FBI indictments of two former Trump campaign members, but with an analogy about beer.
The strange story, which meant to illustrate why the wealthy get higher tax breaks than the rest of the country, centered around 10 reporters who regularly go out for beers, and then split the tab roughly according to the American tax code. When the bar owner decides to give them $20 off their $100 nightly tab, things go awry.
Charlie Pierce has the transcript, and points us to the source: a crackpot economist who thinks the rich should just go Galt and teach us all a lesson. And somehow it involves beer. Meanwhile WaPo tells us Trump spent the morning:
...playing fuming media critic, legal analyst and crisis communications strategist, according to several people close to him.
The president digested the news of the first indictments in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe with exasperation and disgust, these people said. He called his lawyers repeatedly. He listened intently to cable news commentary. And, with rising irritation, he watched live footage of his onetime campaign adviser and confidant, Paul Manafort, turning himself in to the FBI.
Initially, Trump felt vindicated. Though frustrated that the media were linking him to the indictment and tarnishing his presidency, he cheered that the charges against Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were focused primarily on activities that began before his campaign. Trump tweeted at 10:28 a.m., “there is NO COLLUSION!”
Which, as I say, he got from Fox & Friends. The truly sad part is that the issue is not what Manafort did to get indicted, but what Mueller wants to do with it. That Trump doesn't understand that does not bode well for Trump's future in the courtroom.
Steve Bannon is reportedly worried about Trump's legal defense against Manafort. He should be more worried about the reference materials the White House is relying on. Although the saddest part is, the White House obviously thinks this strategy is going to work for them.