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6/11/2018 11:43:00 AM
COMMENTARY: President's plan: Blame accusers

Kelly Hawes, Pharos-Tribune CNHI News Indiana Columnist

So Rudy Giuliani says the special counsel is trying to frame the president.

“They don’t have a crime, and that’s why I say they’re trying to frame him,” Giuliani told the Washington Post. “Because if they had any sense, they would realize they’re trying to put together a case on an innocent man. And that’s what we call in America framing somebody.”

In a normal world, an outlandish claim like that would make headlines, but in the world in which we now find ourselves, the statement didn’t even make the lead of the story. The former New York mayor’s observations on foreign policy drew most of the attention.

Still, the comment is an illustration of the president’s strategy. He has solid support among his base, the economy is going great and all that noise the Democrats and the evil news media are making about the special counsel’s investigation is just that. Noise.

The president has done nothing wrong, and all of his actions have been entirely proper.

He and his lawyers are certainly not trying to tear down the institutions that support our democracy. They’re simply defending the president from unwarranted attacks.

“We’re trying to purify institutions,” Giuliani told the Post.

The president’s attorney said he was still talking to the special counsel’s office about allowing investigators to interview his client.

“The president would very much like to do an interview,” Giuliani said. “His lawyers are very, very suspicious. They’re going to have to convince us it’s going to be a fair interview.”

Giuliani repeated that the investigation so far had produced no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the president.

“If they can show us some hard, incriminating facts from that evidence, then we would consider advising our client to be interviewed,” Giuliani said.

The president’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, also has a role in this strategy. She simply refuses to discuss the president’s legal issues, referring all such questions to the president’s lawyers.

“We are purposefully walling ourselves off and allowing the outside counsel to do their job, and we’re doing ours,” Sanders told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Cuomo wanted to know about a letter those lawyers now say the president dictated concerning Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian attorney in Trump Tower. Cuomo noted that the story now didn’t exactly match the story Sanders was peddling last summer, but she refused to express any regret for whatever role she played in misleading the American public.

“I wish that we spent a lot less time focused on things that the American people don’t care about,” Sanders said. “I wish we spent a lot less time talking about this witch hunt, and that we talked about things that impacted everyday Americans.”

So far, the strategy appears to be paying dividends.

Based on the mail I get, many of the president’s supporters actually believe the narrative the president and his lawyers are promoting.

“The Obama years were not an administration,” one anonymous reader claimed in a recent email. “It was a crime cartel. … Washington, D.C., is a swamp that will take more than 8 years of Trump to clean up. A two-party system is necessary for our system to function, but presently all the other party is doing is attacking and obstructing the progress.”

Another reader contended that Americans were wising up to the leftwing news media.

“The media’s approval rating plus Congress’s approval rating is about half of Trump’s approval rating,” he said.

The man said it was refreshing finally to have a conservative president who would stand up for himself.

“We are not tired of winning,” he said.

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR


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