Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” network political analyst and veteran reporter Carl Bernstein said his sources have told him that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report will show President Donald Trump “has helped” Russian President Vladimir Putin “destabilize” the United States.
Bernstein said, “First of all, “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post” were more advanced on this story than I was, but I did know something and part of what I know comes from lawyers of some of the other defendants in this matter who have appeared before Mueller, including members of the joint defense team which collaborates with the White House. Those lawyers believe the president has been lying at every turn about his relationship with Russia, about those of his aides. Look, let us look at all of the lies, follow the money, follow the lies. They are all mostly and most vehemently about Russia. Whether we are talking about Flynn, Trump, his son, Kushner, back to lying about questions having to do with Russia, about what happened at the Trump Tower meeting. The president of the United States drafts a totally false statement about what happened at that meeting that his son was at.”
He continued, “Trump keeps going back to the idea we need better relations with Russia. Could be. He could well be right. But from a point of view of strength and what everybody can see is that he has not acted with Russia from the United States having a strength advantage with Russia, rather he has done what appears to be Putin’s goals. He has helped Putin destabilize the United States and interfere in the election, no matter whether it was purposeful or not, and that is part of what the draft of Mueller’s report, I’m told, is to be about.”
He added, “What fits hand in glove is both the coverup and the possibility —likelihood — we know there has been collusion. We know there has been collusion by Flynn. We know there has been collusion of some sort by Manafort. The question is, yes, what did the president know and when did he know it? But also it could be unwitting, half-witting, that’s what we’re going to find out. But the idea that this is just benign behavior and conduct, there is nothing benign about what the consequences of this have been. What the hell happened at Helsinki? Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, still does not know what happened at Helsinki because the president as a great “The Washington Post” story points out hasn’t allowed his aides to know or to say what they know about what happened at Helsinki and in his other meetings with Putin. Why is he so beholden? You know, it’s his son that told us years ago, hey, we do a tremendous amount of business in Russia. It is the source of a huge amount of our family income. Well, clearly Mueller is looking at that.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN