7 things to watch out for in the world of Trump’s Russia probe

1. Paul Manafort: To top off a momentous day for POTUS, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, had the bad luck to reveal the existence of the special counsel’s investigation…

7 things to watch out for in the world of Trump’s Russia probe

1. Paul Manafort: To top off a momentous day for POTUS, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, had the bad luck to reveal the existence of the special counsel’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia long before it was made public. There are still many unknowns, from whether the trial of Manafort would proceed to what role Jared Kushner had in the effort. All eyes will be on Mueller in the coming months.

2. Trump aides: The President’s chief-of-staff, Reince Priebus, was dispatched to the National Security Council, Josh Raffel, the White House communications director, took a job at a right-wing publication. Raffel’s replacement, Anthony Scaramucci, was banished from the White House and is now embarking on a book tour. Hope Hicks also remains ensconced in the same role, along with Steve Bannon, who went on the offensive Sunday night in an op-ed for the New York Times, attacking and defending Trump.

3. Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has long claimed that the US election was rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor, was apparently pleased with the indictment against Bannon and other key figures associated with the Trump campaign, particularly former campaign chair Paul Manafort, who headed a consulting firm that did work for a Russian-Ukrainian oligarch.

4. Russia’s allies: After last year’s raft of revelations about the extent of Moscow’s efforts to undermine the 2016 election, the special counsel’s investigation is looking at contacts between Russia and Trump associates during the campaign, as well as Trump’s relationship with the Kremlin. The special counsel’s moves, including the filing of the charges against the former Trump campaign chair, could reveal details about Kremlin collaboration with the Trump campaign.

5. Russia-friendly Republicans: Washington was awash in praise for President Trump’s call with Putin on Monday morning, which will help the President advance the claims that he is trying to improve the relationship between the two nations.

6. Republicans: Over the weekend, Republicans in Congress sought to dismiss news of the Mueller investigation as a minor sideshow when it comes to an investigation that should be nonpartisan, rather than a partisan witch hunt.

7. Democrats: To their credit, Democrats were first in line to accept the news that the special counsel’s investigation has resulted in a filing of charges against three Trump associates.

Leave a Comment