Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. Apr. 23, 2019 1 min read

THE DAILY CALLER—Tucker Carlson's blog—again tries to aid Trump and fails. It confirms a) Rtskhiladze is a liar—as calling the tapes a rumor contradicts his unambiguous texts; b) the claim they're fake didn't come from Rtskhiladze—and he didn't believe it. 

1/ I've noted this phenomenon before: THE DAILY CALLER is *must-read* media for Trump critics because they're so bad at what they do that their attempted defenses of Trump offer—incredibly—*far better investigative journalism that's damning to Trump* than almost any other outlet.

2/ So let's follow THE DAILY CALLER statement from Rtskhiladze here:

(1) Rtskhiladze implies to Cohen the tapes definitely exist, definitely are a danger to Trump, and it was definitely Rtskhiladze who "stopped the flow" of them (given their content, possibly a deliberate pun).

(2) Between his first and second interviews with Mueller, Rtskhiladze realizes that he could be in real danger for what he told the Special Counsel. So *now* he tells Mueller that someone told him the tapes were fake—an attempt to *mitigate* the damage he'd already done to Trump.

(3) Mueller apparently didn't believe the "someone told me the tapes were fake" line either. Nor *should* he—as Rtskhiladze had to admit, in his second interview, that he never said any such thing to Cohen, even though (of course) it would've put Trump and Cohen at ease, if true.

(4) But if you doubted whether Rtskhiladze is a liar, his new line seals it: now that he knows he's *really* in trouble for what he said, he's calling the tapes a "rumor"—even though he already told Cohen they definitely existed and he definitely stopped them from damaging Trump.

(5) THE DAILY CALLER—having once again wounded Trump while trying to help him—now has to then *frame* Rtskhiladze's obvious lie as some sort of Trump victory, all the while stating (impossibly) that many people take his words as a vindication of Trump (*how* is never explained).

(6) In case you're wondering, I'm really *not* being snarky here: THE DAILY CALLER is *so bad* at pro-Trump blogging that they're *good*—accidentally—at investigative journalism. Their Trump reporting is so damaging to Trump, it's as "can't-miss" as NYT/Washington Post reporting.

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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