Trump investigations showcase battles over executive privilege
Who's who of the Trump-Russia collusion collapse red carpet
We are in the midst of award show season, and the Academy is still counting the votes... If only we knew who might win for the "Best Trump-Russia Meltdown" and "Wildest Don Jr. Conspiracy Theory." There are certainly a number of celebrity media personalities in the mix for such nominations, stemming from their star turns and breathless reports on a potential Trump-Russia scandal.
In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman's report that there was no collusion - nearly one year after the House committee had found the same - and as rumors swirl that the Mueller probe is nearing its anti-climactic conclusion, which rockstar reporters and pundit prima donnas can we expect to see on the red carpet?
Dozens staked their reputation and credibility on the theory that Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election. Expect their upcoming performances to feature Oscar-worthy acts of goalpost moving and pivoting from past comments.
Here's a list of contenders:
Keith Olbermann: Always stylish, which perhaps makes it fitting that Keith was hosting GQ magazine's web series called The Resistance (after being relegated to the web from cable TV) when he boldly declared back in 2017, "Case Closed. Collusion Has Been Proven." Olbermann did not stop as the evidence dissipated; my amateur count shows shows more than half of the 147 episodes of season 2 of The Resistance focused on some combination of Trump, Russia and Mueller.
Chris Hayes: The bespectacled MSNBC anchor has gone "All in" on Russia Collusion, routinely allowing guests to go unchallenged in making wildly absurd claims. For example, recall the tough line of journalistic inquiry when NY Mag's Jonathan Chait asserted on his show that Trump may have been a Russian asset since 1987. Moreover, like all celebs he hit the late night circuit, telling Steven Colbert he was convinced of collusion, citing Occam's Razor as proof.
Ana Navarro: CNN's go-to Republican when it comes to supporting Democrats is not often noted for her Trump-Russia peddling. Her greatest hits album is more of the "Trump is a racist" genre. Yet her award stems from her recurring primetime role opposite Steve Cortes in which one week she fear mongers over the "breadth and scope" of the President's Russia conspiracy, and in the next she arrogantly files her nails during the televised debate. What style! What class!
Seth Abramson: This professor and pundit literally wrote the book on the "Proof of Collusion." If we are smart enough to buy his bestseller, the promo explains, we'll learn "how a U.S. president compromised American foreign policy in exchange for financial gain and covert election assistance." Perhaps it's a shame that the Senate and House Intelligence Committees didn't get advance copies to help map out their case.
Carl Bernstein: Despite his Nixon-era compatriot Bob Woodward finding "no collusion" in his two years of investigating, Carl Bernstein, long gracing cable news screens with his Trump-Russia theorizing, recently declared that Mueller has the President "cornered," and "knows everything about Russia." This is no change from two years ago, when he surmised that the Trump-Russia conspiracy could be "more dangerous than Watergate."
Rachel Maddow: MSNBC's most popular anchor has figured out how to turn the Trump-Russia theory into ratings gold, wowing viewers on both sides of the aisle. She has ventured into the fantasy genre with wildly fanciful tales: of Trump receiving his talking points from the Kremlin; that peace with North Korea is really to benefit Putin; that Tillerson was a Russian plant; and a provably incorrect theory that the White House deceptively edited Trump's transcript and video with the Russian president.
Cenk Uygur: The host of The Young Turks is hip, progressive, and fresh, and he certainly was a trendsetter in the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory world, being one of the first to come out publicly to assert the President's guilt. In March of 2017, he claimed Trump "did a deal" with Russia in exchange for cash, and that he "might not last six months." Well, twelve months passed, then eighteen, and now we are nearly two years since that declaration, and not only is Trump still President, but Cenk is still running Russian collusion reruns.
Joseph Borelli is the minority whip of the New York City Council, Republican commentator, professor and Lindsay Fellow at the City University of New York's Institute for State and Local Governance. He served as co-chair of Donald Trump's New York campaign. He has also been published in the NY Daily News, DC Examiner and Washington Times and appears on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, BBC and HLN. You can follow him on Twitter @JoeBorelliNYC.