Warner Goes on CBS, CNN, NBC Talkers and Still Can’t Make the Case on Trump

It’s a shame, really. Achieving the “Full Ginsburg” of appearing on all five major Sunday Talk Shows is kind of a “big deal” for any American politician/pundit/newsmaker. Senator Mark Warner (D) of Virginia made a valiant effort this weekend with appearances on “Face the Nation” (CBS), “State of the Union” (CNN), and “Meet The Press” (NBC) but he couldn’t finish the race and failed to appear on Fox News Sunday (FOX) or This Week (ABC).

Warner was appearing in his role as the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where he is doing everything in his power to uncover what brand of Russian vodka any member of the Trump campaign might have consumed at any stage of the last presidential campaign.

In Warner’s pitch to the country, he states that Team Trump (specifically Donald J. Trump, Jr. – Trump’s son, Jared Kushner – Trump’s son-in-law, and Paul Manafort – Trump’s then campaign chairman) receiving the proposal of obtaining information from a Russian lawyer about Hillary Clinton’s campaign is “very disturbing.” Warner says it takes the investigation to “a whole new level.”

But does it?

Most campaigns receive promises of innuendo and “background” on their opposition all the time. And it likely would be political malpractice to at least not listen to it. In fact, I have heard numerous stories of things that allegedly happened in the vicinity of Shockoe Bottom while a certain Senator was once governor that might still come to light. Doesn’t mean it happened. But it also doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t listen.

The issue here is that a foreign government was trying to gain influence and favor with Trump. So that begs the question, what law does it violate?

Unseemly? Yes. Did the Russians interfere in our election? Yes. But is there a statutory violation by Trump? Is there even the loosely-defined “high crimes and misdemeanors”-level if it happened during the campaign?

Congressman Dave Brat is a bit more even-keeled on this issue.

Brat said last week to CNN:

“If you find a statute that’s been violated then you got it, but my senators in Virginia are getting apoplectic. Mark Warner’s seeing smoke everywhere he goes, like he’s in a ‘Cheech and Chong’ movie. Kaine now thinks the son is worse than Benedict Arnold…We’ve gotten a little hysterical and we should just get grounded and remember we’re a country under the law.”

And this is the current status: A lot of smoke, but no real fire. When we finally have seen a law been broken, let me know. Until then, there are more than enough things to be annoyed with Trump on.

  • Stephen Spiker

    Jim, you are superlatively wrong to defend taking the meeting with a hostile foreign government seeking to influence the election.

    The transition from “of course we never colluded” to “it would be malpractice not to collude” only succeeds when otherwise intelligent people agree to say dumb things for purely tribal reasons.

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