just stop talking
January 22, 2019

Attempting to clarify conflicting statements he gave about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, Rudy Giuliani managed to make an already confusing situation even more baffling.

President Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was in charge of the Moscow project. On Sunday, Giuliani — Trump's current lawyer — said project discussions were held as late as October or November 2016, almost to Election Day. On Monday, Giuliani released a statement saying his remarks were "hypothetical and not based on conversations I had with the president."

Late Monday, The New Yorker's Isaac Chotiner called Giuliani to discuss his shifting story. First, they discussed the BuzzFeed News report last week that Trump directed Cohen to lie about when the Moscow negotiations ended, as Cohen did. Giuliani said he knew the story was false because "I have been through all the tapes, I have been through all the texts, I have been through all the emails, and I knew none existed."

Wait, what tapes? Chotiner asked. "I shouldn't have said tapes," Giuliani said, backtracking. "They alleged there were texts and emails that corroborated that Cohen was saying the president told him to lie. There were no texts, there were no emails, and the president never told him to lie." Moving on, Giuliani said Trump "had no conversations" about the Moscow project, before reversing course and declaring, "I shouldn't say he had no conversations. He had a few conversations about this early-stage proposal that he ended somewhere in early 2016, and doesn't have a recollection of anything else, and there is nothing to support anything else."

Giuliani denied telling The New York Times that Trump said "discussions were going on from the day I announced to the day I won," but when asked if the Times made the quote up, Giuliani said he didn't know. None of this matters anyway, Giuliani said, because "even if it's true, it's not criminal." Read the entire bewildering interview at The New Yorker. Catherine Garcia

October 3, 2018

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) must be exhausted, as he's spent the last several days doing everything he possibly can to defend Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

During Kavanaugh's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Graham went off, yelling at his Democratic colleagues and accusing them of trying to "destroy" Kavanaugh's life, all while making scary faces. He continued to praise Kavanaugh and slam Democrats over the weekend, and on Tuesday he said if he doesn't get confirmed, President Trump should just nominate Kavanaugh again.

On Tuesday night, he stopped by Fox News, where he told Sean Hannity that what bothered him the most about Kavanaugh facing multiple accusations of sexual assault is that Democrats aren't treating him with the respect he believes Kavanaugh deserves. Sure, Kavanaugh snapped at Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and asked her if she got blackout drunk just moments after she shared that her father was a recovering alcoholic, but "what would you do if you were accused of all these things?" Graham asked.

Kavanaugh apologized to Klobuchar minutes after the exchange, and Graham said it's now someone else's turn to be contrite: "Here's what I think: Amy Klobuchar should apologize to Judge Kavanaugh and his family for being part of a schmear campaign I haven't seen in over 20 years in politics." Yes, he said schmear, but that actually worked because he followed up by saying any red-state Democrat who votes against Kavanaugh will be "toast." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

November 9, 2017

Even if the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Roy Moore are true, it's no big deal that he was a 32-year-old man initiating an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl, because the Bible is filled with stories of older men with younger women, Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler told The Washington Examiner Thursday.

"Take the Bible, Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance," Ziegler said. "Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual."

That's not Ziegler's only defense of Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama. He also told the Examiner it's "much ado about nothing" because the incidents would have happened "almost 40 years ago" and it's possible "Roy Moore fell in love with one of the younger women." Besides, Ziegler added, it's a pattern of Moore's to find himself in the company of younger women — he's been married to his wife, Kayla, for 35 years, and she's 14 years his junior. The real villain here is the press, Ziegler said, specifically The Washington Post, for breaking the story on Thursday. The paper was "desperately trying to get something negative" on Moore, Ziegler told the Examiner, but "he's clean as a hound's tooth." Catherine Garcia

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