Everything you need to know about Trump and Russia
Dana Milbank summarizes it nicely in the Washington Post:
Having trouble following the fast-moving developments about the Trump team’s ties to Russia? Here’s a primer to get you up to speed:
President Trump got to know Russian President Vladimir Putin “very well,” but he doesn’t “know Putin.”
Putin sent Trump “a present” and they spoke, but Trump has “no relationship with him.”
Trump has “nothing to do with Russia,” but his son has said “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets” and “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
U.S. intelligence agencies allege that Putin meddled in the election to try to get Trump elected, but this was all a “ruse” and a “fake news fabricated deal to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats.”
There was “no communication” between Trump’s team and Russia during the campaign and transition, except for communication with Russia by Trump’s future national security adviser, his future attorney general and his son-in-law and two others.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions “did not have communications with the Russians,” except for the two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak he neglected to mention under oath.
Sessions then said he never discussed the campaign with Russians, which is not what was alleged.
Sessions had “no idea what this allegation is about” regarding his Russian contacts but had enough of an idea what it was about to declare “it is false.”
Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, but this decision is unrelated to the discovery that he spoke twice with the Russian ambassador despite his claims that he had no such meetings.
Sessions cannot confirm the investigation he recused himself from exists or will exist in the future.
Sessions believes that perjury is one of the constitutional “high crimes and misdemeanors” and “goes to the heart of the judicial system,” except his false testimony under oath to Congress was not a false statement but a case of speaking too quickly.
Sessions met with the Russian ambassador during the time Sessions was serving as a surrogate for the Trump campaign, but not in his capacity as a surrogate for the Trump campaign.
Sessions remembers nothing of his meetings with the Russian ambassador, except that he remembers clearly talking about terrorism and religion and Ukraine and he’s sure they didn’t talk about the campaign.
It was a total coincidence that . . .