Trump on Whether His Campaign Team Coordinated with Russia: ‘Nobody that I know of’

by Hunter –

Here’s all the times Trump was asked about contact between his staff and Russia during that very, very strange press conference. As you can see, his answers varied from denying the premise of the questions to denying that he himself had anything to do with Russian contacts, without ever vouching for the notion that nobody on his staff did.

Answer one: Fake news!

TRUMP: And, you know, you can talk all you want about Russia, which was all a, you know, fake news, fabricated deal, to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats and the press plays right into it. In fact, I saw a couple of the people that were supposedly involved with all of this — that they know nothing about it; they weren’t in Russia; they never made a phone call to Russia; they never received a phone call.It’s all fake news. It’s all fake news.

Answer two: “Failing,” with a side of “discredited,” with a heavy dash of I never knew the dead man.

QUESTION: (inaudible) clarification here. During your campaign, did anyone from your team (inaudible) Russian government or Russian intelligence? And if so, what was the nature of those conversations (inaudible)?TRUMP: The failing New York Times wrote a big, long front-page story yesterday. And it was very much discredited, as you know. It was — it’s a joke. And the people mentioned in the story, I notice they were on television today saying they never even spoke to Russia. They weren’t even a part, really — I mean, they were such a minor part. They — I hadn’t spoken to them. […]

So the three people that they talked about all totally deny it.

Answer three: The leaks are real, but the story is fake.

QUESTION: I just want to get you to clarify this very important point. Can you say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contacts with the Russians during the campaign? And on the leaks, is it fake news or are these real leaks?TRUMP: Well the leaks are real. You’re the one that wrote about them and reported them, I mean the leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it and the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake. […]

Answer four. You can’t say the reporters weren’t trying to get a straight answer on this one.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)TRUMP: Well, I had nothing to do with it. I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you, I have no deals there, I have no anything. Now, when WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they’re not giving classified information.

Answer five.

QUESTION: And if I may follow up on that, just something that Jonathan Karl (ph) was asking you about. You said that the leaks are real, but the news is fake. I guess I don’t understand. It seems that there’s a disconnect there. If the information coming from those leaks is real, then how can the stories be fake?TRUMP: The reporting is fake. Look, look… You know what it is? Here’s the thing. The public isn’t — you know, they read newspapers, they see television, they watch. They don’t know if it’s true or false because they’re not involved. I’m involved. I’ve been involved with this stuff all my life. But I’m involved. So I know when you’re telling the truth or when you’re not. I just see many, many untruthful things.

Answer six: “Nobody that I know of.”

QUESTION: Thank you. I was just hoping that we could get a yes or no answer on one of these questions involving Russia. Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?TRUMP: […] No. Nobody that I know of. Nobody …

QUESTION: So you’re not aware of any contact during the course of the election?

TRUMP: How many times do I have to answer this question?

QUESTION: Can you just say yes or no?

TRUMP: Russia is a ruse.

So no, he can’t just say yes or no. Answer seven.

QUESTION: But in his capacity as your campaign manager, was [Manafort] in touch with Russian officials during the election?

TRUMP: You know what? He said no. I could only tell you what he — now he was replaced long before the election. You know that, right? […] He was only there for a short period of time.

That’s it. The closest he ever came to denying the story outright was to say that “nobody that I know of” was in contact with Russia during his campaign. The rest is, um, whatever that is.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos