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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 9:05 AM
Updated: Aug 26, 2018 9:05 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 14372

Reported Deaths: 693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds92024
Lauderdale69957
Madison68721
Scott62310
Neshoba56534
Jones52519
Forrest51137
DeSoto4936
Leake39512
Rankin3736
Holmes37324
Jackson30013
Copiah2854
Attala27715
Monroe25324
Leflore25030
Lincoln25022
Newton2504
Harrison2457
Lamar2275
Yazoo2233
Pearl River20731
Pike20211
Adams19015
Lowndes1828
Noxubee1696
Washington1636
Warren1587
Oktibbeha15010
Bolivar14911
Wayne1480
Jasper1483
Covington1411
Clarke13517
Smith13311
Kemper13110
Chickasaw12812
Lafayette1254
Lee1175
Carroll11410
Coahoma1133
Marion1129
Winston1051
Clay1043
Lawrence991
Simpson930
Hancock8711
Yalobusha855
Wilkinson859
Itawamba857
Grenada823
Montgomery811
Sunflower783
Union785
Marshall763
Jefferson Davis752
Tippah7111
Tate691
Panola643
Claiborne642
Calhoun614
Webster591
Amite561
Humphreys537
Tunica523
Walthall510
Perry492
Prentiss413
Jefferson400
Choctaw352
Stone300
Pontotoc283
Franklin272
Tishomingo260
Quitman250
Tallahatchie251
George201
Benton140
Alcorn141
Greene111
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16310

Reported Deaths: 590
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2085112
Jefferson167397
Montgomery144634
Marshall6609
Tuscaloosa63212
Lee52632
Franklin4986
Shelby47019
Tallapoosa41063
Butler39113
Chambers34024
Madison3154
Elmore3007
Baldwin2829
Walker2821
DeKalb2403
Etowah24011
Dallas2323
Coffee2191
Lowndes21610
Morgan2111
Sumter2106
Autauga1923
Houston1854
Bullock1763
Pike1730
Colbert1612
Calhoun1523
Marengo1506
Choctaw1487
Russell1480
Lauderdale1452
Hale1416
Wilcox1327
Barbour1301
Clarke1282
Randolph1247
Marion11711
St. Clair1081
Pickens964
Dale960
Talladega963
Chilton931
Greene914
Cullman880
Limestone860
Winston770
Covington751
Jackson742
Bibb711
Henry702
Macon672
Crenshaw662
Washington656
Blount531
Escambia483
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Perry360
Conecuh351
Coosa341
Monroe342
Cherokee332
Clay272
Lamar210
Cleburne131
Fayette130
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Columbus
Few Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Oxford
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
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