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Trump, Giuliani fog wall fog, what is fact, fiction



But for Trump, this is the point at which he encounters immediate and medium-term legal and political challenges that can have serious consequences for his presidency and give him all the incentive to try and make everyone look away.

So After a weekend spying on Twitter on special advisory specialist Robert Mueller, Trump, supported by his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, launched Monday a new cloud of disguise and confusion over Russia, budget-makers and Iran. But the president refused to answer questions about the epic meltdown in his relationship with his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who is now out to crush him.

His insane mood is likely to deteriorate as Mueller fueled his lavish law enforcement machine on Tuesday. It's the first real test in court when Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is on trial for tax evasion and fraud in Virginia.

And the approaching halftime elections, the first chance for voters nationwide to pass judgment on Trump's stormy presidency, are also clearly at the head of the president, shaping political and legal strategies that seem to be developing by the hour.

Giuliani unleashes

Giuliani has not only moved the goal posts in his defense of Trump the Mueller probe on Monday ̵
1; he tore up the field and desecrated the stadium.

In a performance clearly aimed at hardening the wavering Republicans against Mueller, Gi uliani claimed on CNN's "New Day" that he "does not even know if it's a crime and makes fun of Russians. "

This development of the Trump defense was remarkable, as Trump spent months "No Collusion!" tweeted. and the question immediately arose as to whether the president's legal department tacitly admitted more liability for the president than previously thought.

  Giuliani says he is not sure that collusion is a crime despite Mueller's investigation [1965-09] Giuliani says he & # 39; s not sure collusion is a crime despite Mueller's investigation

It is true that there is no specific offense of collusion, no proof that the president or his electoral team knew that there was an attempt by Russia to intervene in the election to help Trump throw her into very hot water.

"What he has said here today, of course, makes no sense, it is a crime to coordinate with foreigners and receive a cause of value as a donation, it is a conspiracy to cheat the United States if you engage in this kind of behavior, "said Michael Zeldin, a CNN legal analyst who once worked for Mueller in the Ministry of Justice.

R ZWILLING: Giuliani says he has not heard from the Müller team about the Trump interview in 10 days

The day before the Manafort trial in Virginia, the former mayor of New York also took steps, Trump of his former campaign chairman to dissociate responsibility for a "very discreet and important area" in 2016 – securing the delegates at the Republican National Convention.

However, it is already clear that while Trump and the issue of Russian electoral intervention will not be on the dock, the trials in Alexandria, Virginia, will extend beyond the White House as long as the case continues.

If convicted and given the prospect of spending the rest of his life in jail, Manafort may have new incentives to work with Mueller if he has any information about Trump or Helpers conspiring with Russia's electoral intervention
] This reality could help explain Trump's fierce attacks on Muller over the weekend, which represent the most personal attack on the Special Adviser yet by the President. It may also point to the motivation of Giuliani's muddy mission on Monday, which made Trump's legal strategy more confused than ever.

Another breathtaking summit?

It's been barely a week since Trump warned the Iranian president in capital letters Hassan Rouhani said that if he did not stop threatening the United States, his country would suffer "consequences, of which few in history have ever been suffered. "
But on Monday, after meeting Italian Prime Minister Trump He offered to meet with the Iranian leader – an encounter that would have been the first meeting since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"I would certainly meet Iran if they wanted to meet," Trump said. "I'm ready to meet whenever you want."

"No preconditions," he added.

It was not really surprising that Trump pursued such an approach. Finally, in June, he threw diplomatic conventions out of the window with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, although the two sides had been at war for almost 70 years.

The President and his subordinates are adopting a frightening rhetoric and escalating the long showdown with the Islamic Republic, they seem to try to create the same kind of leverage that has helped Kim come to the table.

  Trump's willingness to meet with Iran is diplomatically exaggerated. Trust, says Dem

But the question of how far their approach a (19659004) Many analysts believe that it is impossible for Iran to team up with Trump for ideological reasons, and above all because it has withdrawn from a nuclear deal agreed by the Obama administration with Tehran. The chances that the president could get a better deal are slim, as the four other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, who have agreed to the original approach, continue to campaign for it and give Iran little incentive to refuse.

It also seems unlikely that Trump's allies in the Middle East, Israel and Saudi Arabia, would welcome such an approach.

And given the as yet unclear results of his recent summit with Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin attempting to summit up with Rouhani – without preconditions – would be an act of breathtaking political bravery.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an interview with CNBC, later attempted to undo Trump's no pre-requisite offer.

"If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to fundamental changes in the way they treat their own people, to reduce their malicious behavior, they may agree that it pays to enter into a nuclear deal that actually prevents proliferation , then the president He said he was ready to sit down and talk to them, "said Pompeo.

His comments intensified the question of whether the President's remarks were a true explanation of US policy or simply an attempt to create a smoke screen.

Shutting down the government?

As for Republicans on Capitol Hill, the idea of ​​a pre-half-time government rally after the meetings between the president and the heads of state and government was over.
Trump has a proposal on Monday in a tweet by threat of a shutdown to force lawmakers to finance the border wall that was at the center of his 2016 election message.
  Republicans are not interested in a shutdown, no matter what Trump tweets

"If we will not get border security after many, many years of talking in the United States, I woul I have no problem with making a shutdown, "said Trump.

The threat could be an attempt by the president to push voter turnout into the middle.

Yet, as in his statement on Iran and the latest twists in its defense In the case of Russia, it is reasonable to question how true and lasting the threat of Monday will be. That's because closing Washington before the Midterms could return to the Republicans and drown out the Party's two main arguments for conservative voters – economic growth and the expected confirmation of a second Supreme Court.

However, Trump did not explicitly mention a shutdown time, leaving open the possibility for him to sign a perpetual resolution to finance the government via the Midterms, and then, after the election, a showdown in the Lame-Duck Go for a session.

The Endgame

Whether the positions that Trump and Giuliani rolled out on Monday are real shifts or only trial balloons will go out in the coming weeks and months.

For now, the fog they put on Monday helped the government get through another day and another news cycle

But eventually voters will make their verdict in the middle and Mueller will complete his investigation.

What happens when those decisions against Trump become much more difficult for the president and his team.


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