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Jim VandeHei of Axios claimed to sum up on Sunday “what we already now know” about Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia probe. His next claim was even more robust. “What we already now know is highly damning and highly detailed.”
If you want to — and I quote — “go deeper,” you can click a button that gives you “460 words” of how what we know is highly damning and highly detailed. It is, of course, not even close to either of those things. But it’s worth looking at to see how some D.C. figures are easily spun into thinking — or claiming to think — that things for which there is no evidence have “highly detailed” evidence.
Assertion - VandeHei - Officials - Republicans - Trump
Here’s the first allegedly “highly detailed” and “highly damning” assertion from VandeHei: “We now know several Russian officials reached out to a half-dozen Republicans very close to Trump and his campaign, including his eldest son, his closest adviser, his lawyer and his campaign manager. We now know they took the meetings, often enthusiastically, during and after the campaign.”
You will note the details aren’t robust enough for us to have a strong idea of what VandeHei is claiming, much less what in the world is damning about it. It’s almost comical. It is true that foreigners reach out to American campaigns, and that Russia is a foreign country. Presumably Mueller isn’t investigating whether Russia exists or has officials who reach out to campaigns, but rather whether there was any treasonous collusion to steal the 2016 election from its rightful owner Hillary Clinton. Perhaps this is a reference to a meeting with Russians that involved no collusion to steal an election, but an unsuccessful attempt to convince Trump affiliates to oppose Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia.
Meeting - Individuals
If taking a meeting with foreign individuals is de facto...
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