Friday on CNN’s “The Lead,” host Jake Tapper used the final massacre scene of “Reservoir Dogs” as a metaphor for the current chaos in the White House.
Partial transcript as follows:
TAPPER: Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Jake Tapper. We start with the politics lead, the biggest bombshell to date in the Russia investigation, reportedly coming from the man who once said he would take a bullet for President Trump. This bombshell goes right to the heart of this question which I cannot say any better than the late Republican Senator Howard Baker said in 1973 as Watergate was consuming the nation.
VIDEO OF BAKER: What did the president know and when did he know it?
TAPPER: What did the president know and when did he know it? In this case, what did President Trump know of Russian offers to help him win his election in 2016? Sources now telling CNN his former fixer Michael Cohen claims then candidate Trump, despite the many denials since, knew in advance about that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former campaign chair Paul Manafort, in which a Russian government lawyer with ties to the Kremlin was expected to offer dirt on Hillary Clinton. The president’s former fixer is prepared to share the details with Special Council Robert Mueller we’re told, if the statement of Cohen, and given the past this is a considerable if, if the statement is credible. But when debating when’s telling the truth about this, it is also worth pointing out that the American people have been lied to time and time again about this meeting and about the greater question of Russian election interference. Let’s start with Donald Trump Jr.’s contradictory statements about this meeting. He said he never met with Russians and then, quote, it was a short introductory meeting where we discussed the program of Russian child adoptions. We know that statement is false and it was courtesy of President Trump. And we know that the reason for the meeting was Donald Trump jr. had been, in fact, promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton. As for whether or not he told his father about the meeting…
HANNITY: Do you tell your father anything about this?
TRUMP JR: No. It was such a nothing, there was nothing to tell.
TAPPER: Michael Cohen is now saying, of course, according to sources that that’s not true. We should point out that Cohen is not the first to raise doubts. Former senior aide Steve Bannon told Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff, quote, ‘The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero,’ Those investigating what the president knew and when he knew it have always been intrigued when the Russian lawyer was in the works, members of the Trump team under the impression to get dirt from the Russians on Hillary Clinton. And at that time, out of the blue, then candidate Trump said this.
VIDEO OF TRUMP: I am going to give a major speech, on probably Monday of next week, and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you are going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.
TAPPER: Candidate Trump going on to say at this campaign event he would show how the Russians, Saudis and Chinese had given money to the Clintons for preferential treatment. Those remarks coming two days before the Trump Tower meeting. Attendees at the meeting say dirt didn’t materialize. And guess what? That major speech Mr. Trump promised, it never happened. That was June 2016. The next month, exactly two years ago today, candidate Trump made this shocking request to Russia about e-mails that Hillary Clinton had deleted.
VIDEO OF TRUMP: Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
TAPPER: We now know through Mueller’s indictment that the Russians targeted email accounts used by Hillary Clinton’s personal office for the first time that same day, that then-candidate Trump invited the Russians to hack a political opponent. Now, it’s all for food for thought when you in the public are trying to decide who to trust in this current state of affairs, which resembles the final scene in “Reservoir Dogs,” except with folks firing BS instead of bullets.
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