Quick Takes: Trump’s Lie of ‘No Collusion’

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* Here is Trump’s twitter response to the leaking of the questions Mueller’s team wants to ask him.

* Brian Beutler explains why “no collusion” is Trump’s biggest Russian lie.

Reporters are understandably reluctant to assert that Trump and Sanders are lying when they say “no collusion,” because at this point a quid pro quo relationship can only be inferred from the evidence. I would call what we know collusion, others might draw the line a little farther down the spectrum. But the two of them are able to endlessly repeat the “no evidence” refrain because the press has been deferential to them about it—because it’s uncomfortable to say the claim is false.

That deference leaves an opening for Trump to discredit and undermine Mueller’s investigation on a false basis. There is evidence of collusion and Mueller wants to ask Trump about it.

* Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein basically accused Trump’s congressional enablers of attempting extortion.

* Why would anyone believe what this man says from one day to the next?

The Trump administration said on Monday that it would delay a decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico for another 30 days, giving key allies a reprieve as the White House tries to extract concessions from trading partners who have resisted those demands.

The extension reflects concerns by the Trump administration of a swift retaliation on American products by European Union nations, and will also give the Trump administration more breathing room to work on a separate trade battle with China.

* Speaking of whether we can believe Trump, the president has reached another milestone.

In the 466 days since he took the oath of office, President Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.

That’s an average of nearly 6.5 claims a day.

When we first started this project for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. Slowly, the average number of claims has been creeping up.

* Last week U.S. District Judge John D. Bates went farther than two previous federal courts who had halted Trump’s recision of DACA. He questioned the legal reasoning of the decision to end the program and gave the Department of Justice 90 days to provide “a fuller explanation for the determination that the program lacks statutory and constitutional authority.” In other words, there is reason to question the Trump administration’s claim that they ended the program because it was unconstitutional. That is likely what prompted this move:

Following through on a months-old promise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, leading a seven-state coalition against an Obama-era immigration measure that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants nationwide from deportation, including more than 120,000 in Texas.

Paxton first threatened in June 2017 to sue over the program if President Donald Trump’s administration had not ended it by September. After federal court rulings blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to end the program, Paxton wrote in January that he would consider filing suit if DACA still stood in June.

But a recent ruling in favor of DACA seems to have shifted up Paxton’s timeline. The announcement comes exactly a week after a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordered the Trump administration to continue the program and reopen it to new applicants. That was the third — and by far the strongest — rebuke of Trump administration efforts to rescind the program.

* Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy is running in the Republican primary to challenge Joe Manchin for the West Virginia Senate seat. All I can say about his latest ad is that he seems to be running on what we might call the “Steve Bannon platform” with as much charisma as a wet noodle.

* Finally, over six years later, this video of Trump from November 2011 could be placed alongside an online dictionary as the perfect example of what psychologists call “projection.”

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.