As President Trump’s former campaign chairman faced FBI criminal charges earlier this week, he took a cozy seat on his Twitter profile to dismiss the allegations affecting his presidency: “… Also, there is NO COLLUSION!”
The initial charges filed by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III acted as a blow to Trump’s political ego, as the president spent months claiming Mueller’s investigation was a witch hunt.
Former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort was indicted on Monday. His indictment drew conclusions the president’s top lieutenant for a portion of 2016 was a paid agent pushing a pro-Russian agenda. Followed by Manafort’s indictment, Foreign Policy Advisor George Papadopoulos confessed Trump’s team attempted to tap Moscow for information regarding Hillary Clinton.
Although Trump continues to brush off the allegations to his campaign, lawyers and former prosecutors say Papadopoulos’ admission of guilt, as well as Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer, point to a different conclusion.
The White House acknowledged in July Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, attended a meeting set up by Trump Jr. with Kremlin-connected Russian officials who claimed to have “dirt” on Clinton. Yet, the White House’s response on Monday continued to deny any correlation.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted Papadopoulos was a campaign volunteer with a limited role in the campaign, which is hard to believe as Trump defined him as part of his foreign policy team in spring 2016. Not only so, but there is ample evidence of communication Papadopoulos and top campaign officials had with Russian officials.
Concerning Manafort, Trump stubbornly claims the allegations were from activities occurring years prior to Manafort’s involvement with the campaign. Yet, Trump is once again wrong, because the indictment includes behavior continuing throughout this year.
Trump knew what he was getting into when he hired Manafort, who has a long history of working with questionable and dictatorial leaders, such as Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.
What does this mean for Trump?
Mueller is making his message crystal clear for Trump. He is a force to be reckoned with and he is not afraid to reveal the truth, no matter how ugly it may be. Manafort, along with Papadopoulos, essentially represent the immoral figures Trump promised to get rid of once he reached the White House.
Well, Trump, if you are not going to rid Washington of the dirt these individuals represent, then do not be surprised Mueller is doing it for you. And do not be surprised if you end up getting burned.