Thursday, March 30, 2017

If Only I Could Have Posted This On St. Patrick's Day

He talks! He has a squeaky clean image! He leads!

Meat Loaf was wrong when he sang "two out of three ain't bad" because two out of three can be very bad.

Lawrence O'Donnell appears to have been the first person (and confident he was) to have noticed that Devin Nunes dropped the name of Paul Ryan when he gave an impromptu news conference on the White House lawn after the committee chairperson dropped by to give to the President, a possible target of the investigation his committeee was to hold, intelligence he would offer no one else. On March 22 O'Donnell explained (best to start at approximately 4:48 of video below)

Donald Trump is the second person that Devin Nunes gave that information to 
today. The first was Paul Ryan, his boss in the House of Representatives.
And Paul Ryan then told Chairman Nunes to bring it to the president. To 
completely bypass his committee, to completely ignore the tradition and 
practice of sharing that with the Ranking Member of his committee, Adam 

Just run it right down to the White House. And so Paul Ryan left Devin 
Nunes wide open to accusations that he was running down to the White House 
to offer some political protection for the damage his committee did to the 
president on Monday.

O'Donnell returned to the topic Monday, observing "And as more inexplicable than him running first to the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, which is the single most under reported stop on Devin Nunes` tour that day on his way to the White House." Doggedly, he wouldn't let go of Ryan, on Tuesday remarking

He is afraid to talk about Devin Nunes. Afraid. He would 
rather talk about the most colossal legislative failure any speaker of the 
House has ever had, his first big bill as speaker.

The Trump-Ryan healthcare bill. That healthcare bill is the single, 
biggest, public professional embarrassment in Paul Ryan`s life.

And he would rather talk about that now and has said more publicly about 
that than he has said about Devin Nunes and that scandal.

And the reason Paul Ryan is afraid of talking about Devin Nunes is because 
the way-over-his-head chairman put Paul Ryan dead center in this scandal on 
the first day when he told reporters something none of them have noticed 
that first stop that he made before going to see the president at the White 
House, was Paul Ryan`s office.

The MSNBC anchorperson added "And I don`t know what I have to do to get any reporters to notice this, including the ones who were standing there in the White House driveway and
heard him saying that."

Finally, someone else did, and it took another O'Donnell for it  to happen. In an interview conducted with Ryan Wednesday but telecast Thursday on "CBS This Morning,"  Norah (unrelated) O'Donnell

 asked him what he knew about Nunes’ source and what other evidence he’s seen.
“You were among the first that [Nunes] briefed. What did he tell you?” O’Donnell asked.

“He had told me that — like, a whistleblower-type person had given him some information that was new that spoke to the last administration and part of this investigation,” Ryan said. “He briefs me about it, didn’t know the content of it, only knew the nature of it and that he was going to brief others.”

“Did you ask to see the documents yourself?” O’Donnell asked.

“He didn’t have the documents, so I didn’t,” Ryan responded.

“Did you encourage him to then go tell the president about it?”

“No, but I told him to just add it to his investigation,” Ryan said.

“So you at no time said, ‘Whatever you find out, you should probably go tell President Trump about it?’” 

“Oh — he was gonna brief everybody. He — I already knew he was going to go and brief. So the — what Chairman Nunes said is he just came into possession of new information that he thought was valuable to this investigation, and that he was going to go and inform people about it,” Ryan said.

“But he hasn’t. I mean, he hasn’t even informed the Republican committee,” O’Donnell said.

“Yeah, I have seen the actual documents. I don’t know that he’s been in possession of them yet. Let me say this: It’s very important that we allow and encourage whistleblowers to talk to Congress,” Ryan said.

You probably caught Nunes was going to go inform people about it. .  Reliable sources have confirmed that Representative Nunes did not cathch the plate number of that bus Speaker Ryan sent to run over him.

Norah, evidently in some sort of "O'Donnell tradition," wouldn't let it drop:

“Can you just help me understand that, though? Because if it’s a whistleblower, why wouldn’t that information then be shared with the Democrats on the committee, and even the other Republicans who haven’t seen it?” O’Donnell asked.

“I don’t know the answer to that question, you’d have to ask that person. I don’t even know who this is,” Ryan said.

“I mean, you’re a member of the Gang of Eight. You can see the most classified intelligence that our government has, right? You could request this information,” O’Donnell said.

“Yeah, we want this information to be provided to Congress and we’re waiting for it to be provided to Congress,” Ryan said.

The speaker also said he has no knowledge of whether President Trump is under investigation for ties to Russia.

"We're waiting for it to be provided to Congress", saith the guy who was allegedly assured that Nunes "was going to go and inform people about it."  If up to him, he'd wait forever. The Speaker made Nunes and can break him because he appoints committee chairpersons and can replace them.If he wasn't informed, he chose not to be informed.

Therefore,  notwithstanding (Lawrence) O'Donnell harping on an issue when no one cared about it and (Norah) O'Donnell interrogating Ryan about it, we still don't know what the Speaker was told by chairperson Nunes. He may have been selling him out or buying time for both of them.  Either way, however, as Lawrence O. noted on Tuesday

That`s why Paul Ryan is not ordering Devin Nunes to recuse himself because
Paul Ryan is in this thing as deep as Devin Nunes is. And if Devin Nunes
can lose his chairmanship over it, then Paul Ryan can lose his speakership
over it.

While precious little is known, two things are clear: Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House, but no leader. And there is something about an O'Donnell.

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