RUSH: Aw, man. You know, folks, it’s so frustrating. I have warned so many people, so many times, that we were headed right where we are. Remember when I told you what the objective of this investigation of Trump was? To get his numbers down to 30% or less so that he would lose all of his Republican support and either be impeached or forced to resign?
Well, here we are, folks. That is exactly, in a nutshell, what all of this is about. And the icing on the cake for these people would be impeaching Trump and convicting him or waiting ’til he leaves office and then indicting him and sending him to jail then. It’s all been so, so predictable.
You might say, what happened to Russian collusion? What is this stuff about Cohen paying off porn stars at Trump’s behest and somehow this is an illegal campaign contribution when, in fact, do you remember — I don’t know how many times we mentioned this. Members of Congress have set up a fund paid for by taxpayers where women who allege that they’ve been abused by these members of Congress are paid! Members of Congress have a slush fund, essentially, set up where these kinds of things get paid off, and nobody alleges a crime, nobody alleges campaign contribution violations, nobody alleges anything of the sort.
Nobody alleged anything of the sort when Obama was caught cheating on campaign contributions to the tune of $2 million. I mean, Russian collusion? This is what happens when you appoint a special prosecutor and do not list a crime for him to investigate, which is a violation of Justice Department regulations. But they did it anyway. Rosenstein appoints Mueller and says, “Have at it, buddy.” And so Mueller digs up all this stuff and passes some of it off to the Southern District of New York where people said, “Well, it can’t be SDNY, that can’t be bad for Trump.”
It’s all bad for Trump. Every bit of this has been bad for Trump from the get-go. Trump has been the sole target of all this from the get-go. And going after all of these ancillary people, like Cohen and Manafort and Papadopoulos, it has all been about Trump. And here we are with the Democrats on the verge of taking control of the House of Representatives — warned everybody what’s gonna happen if they won — nothing but interminable investigations, interminable subpoenas.
And while it is accurate to say it’s highly doubtful any genuine criminal activity has occurred here, that is irrelevant to the objective, which is to get rid of Donald Trump and, as a by-product, to tell each and every one of his supporters “don’t ever do this again.” To tell anybody who might like to try to run for president under the same techniques and principles that Trump did, “Don’t you try it. This is what’s going to happen to you.”
Now, let’s see if we can unpack this and put all the pieces together. And, by the way, some of this stuff is starting to work. I had occasion over the weekend to chat with people, as I do many weekends. And I had two or three guys who are staunch Trumpists pull me aside and say, “The Tillerson stuff really bugged me.“
“What do you mean?”
“What he had to say about Tillerson, that really bothered me.”
“You don’t know that Tillerson started this?”
“No. What did Tillerson say?”
“Well, Tillerson was interviewed by Bob Schieffer at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center over the weekend, Friday night, Thursday, whenever it was, and said that Trump is undisciplined, that he doesn’t read, that he isn’t curious, that he’s not organized, that he basically doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
“I didn’t know that Tillerson said that.” And these are people that pay attention to the news. They thought that Trump had just launched independently on Tillerson for no reason. It doesn’t matter. The point is that those who were attempting to chip away at the support for Trump, you couldn’t blame them if they’re acting like they’re beginning to have some success at this.
And I’ve heard other people talking about Tillerson, “You know, I just wish Trump would stop this stuff, stop the tweeting, stop all this back-and-forth with people that are no longer there and just stick to the agenda.” And, by the way, that’s not a bad piece of advice. It has always been what I have suggested Trump do anyway. In the midst of all this is just get the agenda going, advanced, and he’s done much of it. Undeniably. But get the wall, just publicly focus on it.
In fact, grab audio sound bite number 18 just to make sure I get this in as we get into the specifics of the SDNY and Cohen and — oh, unindicted coconspirator. This is a term being thrown about about Trump now. I’m gonna explain the historical reason for that.
Here’s Lindsey Graham. He was on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News Channel, and she said, “Why can’t the Senate get on board with the border wall funding? Why won’t they help him?”
GRAHAM: Here’s the problem. You’ve got the Democratic leader to-be in the House calling border security the “immoral.” If I’m President Trump, Tuesday I would tell Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer that we’re going to build the wall where it makes sense. If I were the president, I would dig in and not give in on additional wall funding. I’d want the whole $5 billion, ’cause the caravan is a game-changer — 1.6 is available to the president; he wants five — and after the caravan, if you don’t see the need for additional border security, you’re just not paying much attention. So, Mr. President, dig in; do not give in when it comes to the wall.
RUSH: Dig in and demand the wall. That’s Lindsey Graham advising Trump to stay focused on the agenda, which is a good piece of advice. So here we are. The effort is to drive Donald Trump’s approval numbers down. His task is to keep them in the forties. Trump has gotta do whatever he can here to maintain his 45% approval rating, and that’s where staying focused on the agenda is going to matter. So we have a special counsel investigation that starts out with the idea that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
We had it pounded into the heads of the American people for years, months — almost two years — which has led almost half the country believing Russians actually tampered with votes, actually changed the outcome of the presidential election. But when we get down to the nitty-gritty and we have all these sentencing guidelines being published, which give us an idea of the road map Mueller has, there’s nothing there!
It’s about a couple of payments to a porn star and another woman and whether or not Trump authorized these payments to be made by his lawyers Cohen. They are saying if that happened — and Trump is pretty much admitting it in a tweet this morning — then that means Trump knowingly broke the law. He did not break the law. These are campaign… The fact that these are campaign violations that are trying to be hidden is crazy.
They’re build on the premises of nondisclosure agreements, which are legal, and they are a part of pretty much every employment contract of any serious nature that exists in the country today. So this effort… Whether this is a crime or not, is not the point. The effort is to convince people that Donald Trump has wantonly, openly broken the law while behaving immorally by having affairs with Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels and then ordered his sleaze lawyer to pay them both off.
And then he wanted to hide it because Trump knew that it was illegal. No! It not illegal to pay these people off. It’s not illegal, and it’s not illegal to have NDAs. Nondisclosure agreements are not illegal. Trump was not trying to hide campaign contributions in any stretch of the imagination. He was trying to hide his behavior. But he wasn’t trying to hide campaign money or engage in payments in kind regarding campaigns. There’s not enough money here we’re talking about for this to be what the objective was.
So we’ve had all kinds of allegations from Flynn violating the Logan Act, Trump violating the Logan Act — and it’s all designed to get Trump’s approval numbers down into the thirties. You can hear the Democrats. Jerry Nadler is talking about, “This is an impeachable offense. The SDNY can indict when Trump leaves office.” Whether or not they will is another matter. But it’s all about creating a mind-set, folks.
And the Trump people have probably been sitting there while all this is going on being overly confident because, in their world, the candidate can donate as much money as he wants to his own campaign. There are no limits on how much money a candidate can contribute, and Trump could have made these payments himself to the women, but he didn’t. And because he could have and that would have been legal, then he didn’t have to worry about others making payments for him.
This is what they were thinking. Trump could have made the payments; everything would have been fine. But he didn’t want. He wanted to hide it all for family reasons or who knows what, the standard, ordinary reasons. The fact that he’s trying to cover up illegal campaign contributions is absurd. Just like Trump colluding with Russia to steal an election is absurd. But this is made complicated by the Cohen guilty plea.
The interesting thing about it is that even though these things do not expose Cohen to any more guilt or any more sentencing time, the Southern District of New York forced him and made him admit in open court that he was directed to make these payments by Trump. The reason for doing that was, of course, to set up the possibility that Trump could be indicted so they could then run around and say this and to make Trump appear to be guilty.
So we start out with Russian collusion; we had a year and a half or more of never-ending stories from anonymous sources in the intelligence community talking about how America was placed at great risk, that the sanctity our elections was destroyed because Donald Trump colluded with Russia. And here we are, the sentencing memo for Michael Cohen mentions none of that. It’s all about how all important campaign finance laws are as they apply to the rich and the powerful, and we can use them to cut them down to size.
The Cohen sentencing memo is directed at Trump, even though Cohen was also rich but not in Trump’s league. They engaged in specific intent to make Cohen implicate Trump in court even though it wasn’t necessary to Cohen’s plea. And this is what gives the indication that their real target — and there should be no doubt. The real target’s been Trump all along, not Cohen. The real target all along has been Trump, not Flynn. The real target all along has been Trump, not Manafort.
The reason Trump has been the real target is because he won. He is personally detested for any number of reasons, but at the top of them is that he won. He is personally detested because so many millions of Americans voted for him and invested in him and thus turned their backs on the best and brightest in our country: The Washington establishment. He’s hated and despised because they think he is an immoral slug and the American people didn’t care about that.
They’ve been able to get rid of immoral slugs any time they want in the Washington establishment. The Democrat Party and the media have been able to take out any Republican they’ve wanted to at any time they’ve wanted to, and they’ve fired everything they’ve got at Donald Trump, and nothing has worked. So they’re now throwing the kitchen sink, which is a couple of payments to a porn star and another woman.
One of the things they’re accusing… This is a fundamental aspect of this. They’re saying that Trump forced Cohen to involve the National Enquirer in this because the National Enquirer bought the story of Karen McDougal and then she would have it. They didn’t run it. This is being called an illegal campaign contribution because it was in the attempt to keep bad news on Trump out of the media. So the National Enquirer guys were given immunity to come in and testify.
This is all being said to be the responsibility and fault of Donald Trump, that he poisons everything and everything that he comes in contact with. He ruins everybody; we’ve got to explain this. They get you coming and going. If Trump had paid the payments himself instead of having Cohen do it, he’s entirely legally capable of doing that, and it wouldn’t have been a violation of campaign finance law because candidates can give themselves and donate as much as they want.
But if that had happened, you know what they would be saying today? “Trump openly violated campaign finance law by paying money and it didn’t come out of the campaign, which is what it was…” No matter which way Trump went on this, this day was going to arrive — or last Friday was going to arrive. So let me take a brief break here and continue to unpack this, because James Comey is involved in this up to his ears, and it is just oppressive. You can’t go anywhere in the media without happening upon this story and from a specific angle.
RUSH: You notice the Drive-Bys are not even talking about Russian collusion anymore? There never was any Russian collusion and we’re gonna establish that further as we get into the James Comey aspect of this story. Ladies and gentlemen, I had email during the break, “Rush, how are they trying to get Trump’s approval numbers down to the thirties? What do you mean specifically?” Folks, like I told you the fellas I ran into over the weekend (sputtering), “I didn’t like what Trump said about Tillerson.”
The whole idea has been to separate you who support Trump from him. The whole point of all this has been to just flood the media each and every day with all of this negative news about Trump — be it stealing the election, being an immoral reprobate — has been designed to get you to have doubts about Trump. It’s specifically designed to make you afraid to publicly proclaim your support for Trump. It is about you beginning to be afraid to support Trump because of the reaction you’re gonna get from people who are being treated to all this salacious stuff.
Because they can’t get to where they want to go if Trump’s approval numbers hang in the mid-forties or higher. They’ve got to get him down to where they got George W. Bush. They’ve gotta get him down to where they had Nixon. Because there is no indicting a sitting president. They can’t indict. All this talk about the SDNY indicting Trump? That’s not ’til he leaves office — and if he leaves in 2024, the statute of limitations has expired. That’s why you hear Jerry Nadler talking about these are impeachable offenses. The problem is, what Trump did paying these two women is not criminal!
He’s right when he makes that claim.
RUSH: “Trump Calls Michael Cohen Payouts a ‘Simple Private Transaction,’ Denies They Were Campaign Contributions.” And he’s right about this! There’s a part of me that kind of resents having to get down into the weeds in this stuff, folks, because it means accepting the premise of these people that are on the attack here. And I’ll tell you what I think.
The overall opposition to Trump has been real and total from the get-go. But I think Trump surviving the release of the Access Hollywood video sent them into orbit. That was the kill shot. That’s what has taken out any other candidate in the history of politics, something like that, a secret video or video that’s been revived from the past that shows a candidate in the light that Trump was shown in there. This is the grab-them-by-the video with Billy Bush.
That Trump survived that has sent these people into orbit. That has been a weapon, primarily the Democrat Party, but the Washington has used. And I, therefore, find it ironic that they’re going after a guy here basically on sex. We started out with Russian collusion and tampering with the election and threatening the very dignity of the essence of America, our elections, and that’s gone. There never was anything to it. The Steele dossier was used to get the FISA warrant. Comey even now is saying that they got the FISA warrants when they couldn’t verify the Steele dossier. They hadn’t verified it. And the reason they hadn’t is because it couldn’t be verified because it was made up!
And so now we’re going after a sitting president on the basis that he had sex with a porn star and didn’t want anybody to know about it. That’s being called an impeachable offense now, because he paid the women not to talk. And he had his lawyer get hold of the National Enquirer and buy up one of the stories and then not run it. That’s called an in-kind campaign contribution, therefore illegal. And Trump is maintaining that these are simply private transactions. They were not campaign contributions.
And they weren’t! He is exactly right about it. These were nondisclosure agreements, the ever-popular NDA. Every NDA can be called a hush-money payment. How many NDAs do you think Harvey Weinstein had? They’re common. How many people have them in employment contracts? You sign an NDA when you join a company. You sign an NDA when they fire you and give you a severance. You sign an NDA in any number of circumstances, and they’re upheld. They are part of virtually every employment contract, every severance agreement, every legal settlement.
The fact that it may or does prevent an issue from being raised against you in a campaign is irrelevant! But they want you to believe that Trump had these women sign an NDA ’cause he knew that if it ever went public it could harm his campaign and therefore Trump committed a crime. What’s the crime? Preventing political opponents from finding out things that he’s done in his life? That now is impeachable? That now is indictable?
It’s irrelevant. The fact that an NDA may or may not prevent an issue from being raised against you in a campaign is, in a strict legal sense, irrelevant. And if, let’s say you’re a candidate and you’ve got known controversies in your past and you want to clear the decks before you get into a campaign, so you go to people with whom you’ve had what some might consider to be questionable relationships, and you pay them, and they sign a nondisclosure agreement, it’s all perfectly legitimate! These are private transactions engaged in by two people.
If somebody says, “Yeah, I’ll sign the NDA” and takes money for it, you’ve got a perfectly legal transaction. And they’ve been upheld in courts time and time and time again. There’s nothing criminal about them. But the way they’re being reported on is the exact opposite. That Trump knows he’s a sleaze, that Trump knows he’s a reprobate, that Trump knows that if you knew him the way everybody else close to him knows him, that you’d hate him and would never vote for him and so he’s gotta cover that up, and the fact that he did is now being called a crime.
If you want — again, this is crucially important. If you want to get rid of every imaginable controversy you think you’ve been involved in before you run for office, and you get hold of the people that might have been involved and offer to somehow compensate them if they’ll sign an NDA, legal from front to back. You use your own money or someone else’s money and then reimburses them is of no consequence because it isn’t a campaign expense.
I’m sure the Trump campaign has been relying on this in their relative silence in pushing back. This has been going on for weeks now or months now, not just leading up to the Cohen sentencing documents being released on Friday. Every politician or would-be candidate would have to fear committing a felony if they’re able to turn this or these into felonies.
And as I point out, members of Congress already have a fund that they all agree comes from taxpayer dollars that pays off people who make allegations of sexual misconduct against sitting members. And nobody ever says that those are campaign contribution violations. Nobody ever says that that slush fund represents a grand total of illegal campaign contributions to all the members of Congress who have benefited from it.
Southern District of New York, which is where Mueller handed over some of this stuff, remember when that happened, “Mueller must not have much here, sent over to SDNY, federal case over there, Mueller’s not doing it, must be nothing here.” That was a head fake all along because all of this, it doesn’t matter where it comes from, SDNY, special counsel, Department of Justice, James Comey, it’s all guaranteed.
I don’t know what these people are afraid of. The degree of hatred that they have for Donald Trump and the degree of fear and the intensity of this opposition to him goes beyond even my well-known ability to analyze it. It’s irrational. Some things are obvious. They don’t like Trump ’cause he’s an outsider. They don’t like Trump because he beat them. The idea that they don’t like Trump ’cause he’s immoral, give me a break.
They stood behind one of the most immoral guys ever in the White House, Bill Clinton, and they told us sex is nobody’s business. It didn’t have any impact in the way he led. Remember all of that? They’ve stood behind more the morality in the White House starting with JFK, LBJ. The idea that these Washington establishment types are clean and pure as the wind-driven snow is a mocking joke.
The Never Trumpers, too! They’re sitting there, “So offended. This man is so, so brusque, has a so gross, he’s such an offense to our sensibilities.” What sensibility is he an offense to? “Well, he’s an offense to the collegiality and the comity with which we all get along with here and so forth.” The crease in the slacks kind of stuff? What is this? The idea that these people are moral paragons of virtue, the Washington establishment? How many illegitimate kids do you think there are in this group?
How people have engaged in extramarital sexual activities or other things. They’re acting like Trump is this gigantic affront to the national sensibility? When it comes to the Never Trumpers, the things they have supposedly devoted their lives to, Trump is implementing many of those things, and they still can’t come to support them.
I know Trump threatens their fundraising, Trump threatens their relevance, because if a guy like Trump, an outsider with no practical political experience can come in and get a major economic boosting tax cut, a guy like Trump can come in and actually make a serious dent in illegal immigration, which they all are in favor of, by the way, then why do we need experts telling us how to do it?
Why do we need experts and only experts elected — and in administrations and the bureaucracy — to implement these things? And why do we need great thinkers publishing their great think pieces in magazines and websites and so forth if a guy like Trump from the outside who’s never done it can come in and do it and do it faster and quicker and more efficiently than they could if they had the chance? Well, this cannot stand!
So now we’re gonna say that a president who had sex with a porn star and somebody else has committed impeachable offenses because he paid to keep them quiet. The group that defended Bill Clinton on the basis of sex and ignored a legitimate rape allegation (and swept that aside, had no interest in pursuing that) is now doing everything they can to drive Donald Trump supporters away from him on the basis that he’s broken the law with these nondisclosure agreements.
Is the United States federal court for the Southern District of New York, the now famous SDNY…? Are they expert in federal campaign law violations? I don’t think so. And they don’t have the last say. A Clinton appointee, federal district judge in Manhattan is the final say? There hasn’t been a Cohen trial. The SDNY and its preposterous view hasn’t been tested. None of this has been tested in court, just like Mueller’s charges against these rogue Russian troll farms.
All of these charges that Mueller has made that supposedly link Russians to the campaign will never be tried! By design, Mueller’s allegations will never be tested in court, just as these allegations against Trump have not been. I know. The National Enquirer actually is the group that had the goods on John Edwards, and look at all the trouble the establishment went to to try to bury that and sit on that, keep us from knowing about that.
But here with Trump, they are leading the charge. So the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York cuts a deal with Cohen; throws in these campaign counts to smear Trump. Trump’s name is not in the indictment. It’s all about smearing Trump. It’s all about driving his numbers down into the thirties, and it’s all about creating doubt among Trump supporters. It’s all about making ’em go soft.
It’s all about, “Gee, I don’t know. I don’t know if I can stand by anymore and watch these tweets. I just don’t know.” As the onslaught of smears continues, as the allegations of criminal activity and potential indictable offenses continue to be plastered all over the media, the expectation is that Trump supporters will eventually soften and abandon because it simply will not be worth the hassle to remain a Trump supporter. That’s what we’re in the midst of here.