Tonight, in a segment called Worst Case Scenario…, Maddow starts off the show talking about how Democrats are beginning to investigate the ties between John Bolton, Maria Butina, the NRA and Russia. She then discusses how Cohen has pulled out of testifying to Congress due to threats against his family by Trump. She mentions that Manafort has been ordered to appear in court on Friday to adjudicate whether he violated his plea agreement. Then she updates the situation with Deripaska’s Belarusian escort who has been returned to Russia, and it appears she may be in the early stages of poisoning. She moves on to discussing day 33 of the government shutdown. Pelosi gives a final NO to the State of The Union. IRS agents, meat inspectors, TSA agents, and prison guards are starting to walk off the job. The White House Office of Management and Budget is investigating what else in the Federal Government to close entirely if the shutdown lasts another month or more.
Then Maddow drops a bombshell. She actually goes there! Essentially, she says what many of us have started thinking. If Trump is actually an agent of Vladimir Putin, then he may be doing Russia’s bidding in shutting down the US Government. The Trump Shutdown may actually be the Putin Shutdown. Our President may be doing all of this on behalf of Russia. Our country may have been shuttered by our adversary.
MADDOW (23:17): And these things tie together right. Of course, this isn’t our first shutdown. It is the only one that has gone on this long. Because we’ve all been through other shutdowns, shorter shutdowns. Things that happened under normal circumstances we know what coverage of these crises is like. It starts from the premise that more or less responsible actors have decided to harm the US Government, harm the American people to a point, while they try to get the other side to blink. And, the whole shutdown exercise is so they can get something they want out of the other side that they couldn’t otherwise get out of normal means without causing a little bit of pain.
I mean normal shutdowns are bad enough, but in this case the shutdown is not only longer, it is also qualitatively different. If you are sensing that there is no urgency whatsoever on the part of the president to end this one, you are correct. There is nothing from the president to suggest at all that he has any interest in this wrapping up anytime soon, or that he has any real concern at all about the harm that it is causing as it goes on.
In this case, unlike any other shutdown we have had over any other issue for any amount of time in this case the president seems to have no interest in ending it, and in this case the president who is insisting on the shutdown is the same president who is at the center of the most serious criminal and counter intelligence investigations to ever get anywhere near a sitting US president.
The FBI since Donald Trump has been president, they literally opened a formal investigation to see if they could substantiate if the evidence and behaviors suggested that the president could be acting on behalf of a foreign government, as essentially a foreign government’s agent here in the United States and inside the US Government. And, not just any foreign power, but a hostile foreign power that wants to do us as much harm as possible. And, none of us know what the ultimate dispensation of that counter intelligence case concerning the president has been, or what it will be if it continues under Robert Mueller. But we are watching all these various threads of it still dangling, right? Cohen, Manafort, Butina, and Deripaska, and all the rest of it.
Suspend your disbelief though for a second. If the premise of that counter intelligence investigation was true. If Russia did get a US president to act on their behalf against the United States. If you were Russia, what else would you want that president to do at this point? I mean, what would you conceivably want him to do that he has not already done, or at least tried? I mean, how psyched are you for your investment in that guy so far, right? It’s day 33 now. The government is not just a vehicle that has sputtered to a halt, each passing day pours more sugar into the gas tank, making it harder and harder for this thing to ever get running again.
Could it be true? Imagine that an evil despotic foreign leader has installed an agent as the President of their most hated adversary country. What would that leader have his agent do?
- Have that agent relax sanctions on the leader’s country. ✔ CHECK
- Have that agent antagonize the country’s allies. ✔ CHECK
- Have that agent sow discord in the country with hateful divisive rhetoric. ✔ CHECK
- Have that agent attack the countries institutions, particularly the Justice Department, and install cronies in the leadership of these institutions. ✔ CHECK
- Have that agent pull the country out of multinational trade and security alliances. ✔ CHECK
- Have that agent implement crazy economic trade sanctions to weaken its economy. ✔ CHECK
- Have that agent heap praise on the foreign leader. ✔ CHECK
- Have that agent go to extraordinary lengths to conceal communications with the foreign leader. ✔ CHECK
- Have that agent regurgitate obscure dishonest talking points to serve the foreign leader’s propaganda purposes.✔ CHECK
- HAVE THAT AGENT SHUT DOWN THE COUNTRY’S ENTIRE GOVERNMENT ON THE BASIS OF SOME STUPID CONTRIVED RATIONAL, AND NOT REOPEN IT DESPITE ENORMOUS POLITICAL, SECURITY, SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL DAMAGE, THEREBY CRIPPLING THE COUNTRY. ✔ CHECK
If Maddow is right, Putin’s agent Donald J. Trump is intentionally doing more damage every day than an invading horde, and it will only get worse until he is stopped.
If Maddow is right, what happens next?
You can watch the segment here. It starts at 23:17.