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Cuomo confronts Conway on Trump's lie

CNN's Chris Cuomo presses White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on President Trump's untrue statements regarding payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Posted: Aug 26, 2018 6:56 AM
Updated: Aug 26, 2018 7:05 AM

The nation has been watching an epic battle between fact and fiction for more than a year. This week, with the major legal developments regarding Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen (President Donald Trump's former campaign manager and fixer, respectively) the power of facts dealt a serious blow to Trump's endless cries of "witch hunt."

With the convictions of Trump's associates starting to pile up and a Fox News poll showing an increase in approval of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation this month, it seems that the tide is turning against the President. For anyone who has given up on the belief that fact will win out in a political world with so much fiction, the reverberations from this week should provide a modicum of hope.

Despite widespread hope that it will be wrapped up by midterm elections, the Russia investigation will heat up even more, and so will the battle between Trump and Mueller. The dichotomy of the two men's modi operandi couldn't be starker: Here is Trump using his bully pulpit to spin and twist the facts and create an alternative narrative. And here is Robert Mueller, the tough and quiet prosecutor who depends on the truth, laid bare through indictments and convictions, to speak for itself.

Although Mueller does not have the same massive platform as the President, or a passionate and loyal political base that will back him in any situation, he does have the capacity to shape public opinion through the report he will ultimately produce.

We don't yet know what Trump's relationship was to the Russian attack on the 2016 election, or how far he went to obstruct the Russia investigation -- and Democrats should pause before making any assumptions. But we are already seeing a pretty devastating portrait of the people the President has surrounded himself with. And Cohen's statement in the courtroom that he acted "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," appears to indicate that Trump was willing to go beyond the boundaries of the law to win the presidency. Trump has denied wrongdoing.

As the Russia investigation enters its next phase and converges with midterm season, the country's immediate future will hinge on how the public interprets any revelations made public. Based on his own record, President Trump will work tirelessly to manipulate each part of this story to promote a narrative that vindicates him and impugns his critics.

Trump's statements indicate he is willing to bring down entire institutions to protect himself. His critics should not take the threat that he poses lightly; they should realize that in our current political world, the truth often doesn't win out. The President has already shown his capacity to shape national conversations with smears that have no basis in fact. He delegitimizes people, organizations and institutions by throwing political mud at the wall to see what will stick. Much of it does, and his base remains strong.

Nonetheless, President Trump and his ardent supporters should not be so sure this will work every time. If Mueller's report is damning to the President, it will offer the biggest counterpunch to the Trumpian world of spin. The legal damage in this investigation is already starting to mount, and --- even if Mueller's report does not come out before November -- Republicans will still very likely be the first to pay the price in the midterm elections.

If Democrats gain control of Congress in November and Mueller's report suggests that the President has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, the findings must be powerful enough to sway Democrats to move forward with impeachment and convince enough Senate Republicans to concur. If Republicans retain a slim majority in Congress, the report would somehow have to shake Republicans from their partisan loyalty and convince them to do something to constrain Trump.

Even if the President can survive a bad report from Mueller, it remains to be seen whether his capacity to sell his fans on the world he imagines will be enough to win him reelection in 2020.

Some people have recently been wearing T-shirts that read "It's Mueller Time." Well, the verdict will be out soon and we'll see then how many more people will be sporting that phrase.

Soon we'll know how much our political world has been broken and whether there is any hope for regaining normality -- and returning to a nation where facts actually matter.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 394569

Reported Deaths: 5243
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60720847
Washington42359405
Marion40153516
Clackamas33040387
Lane30428361
Jackson25105363
Deschutes23795189
Umatilla15144184
Linn14859183
Douglas13523293
Josephine10278247
Yamhill9840143
Klamath9112149
Polk8325102
Benton615338
Malheur593292
Coos5768109
Columbia438056
Jefferson424366
Lincoln365852
Crook343057
Union340756
Wasco318646
Clatsop263635
Baker221833
Tillamook218046
Hood River216537
Morrow197825
Curry193939
Harney121333
Grant109116
Lake105617
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
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California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5107717

Reported Deaths: 74800
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153472027244
San Diego4091824350
Riverside3892365381
San Bernardino3762805983
Orange3352965756
Sacramento1690952452
Kern1582701828
Fresno1574692270
Santa Clara1528571928
Alameda1256281512
San Joaquin1080791835
Ventura1043091192
Contra Costa1042181056
Stanislaus919641429
Tulare867391100
San Francisco57141674
San Mateo56585631
Monterey52842626
Solano47828360
Santa Barbara47523555
Merced45309671
Sonoma43349414
Placer42458473
Imperial38932776
Kings35370367
San Luis Obispo31667360
Madera26388311
Shasta26221461
Butte25608318
Santa Cruz22402224
Yolo21722261
Marin18587249
El Dorado18448168
Sutter14646186
Napa13446106
Yuba1079891
Tehama10316131
Humboldt10294119
Nevada10112105
Mendocino864999
Lassen797656
San Benito787979
Tuolumne778491
Lake7057113
Amador580067
Siskiyou479657
Glenn458536
Calaveras445788
Del Norte377942
Colusa328321
Inyo257346
Plumas19577
Mono19034
Mariposa162218
Trinity100717
Modoc7936
Sierra2190
Unassigned1560
Alpine1080
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