The Look of Collusion

President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed Vladimir Putin's top diplomat t... President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed Vladimir Putin's top diplomat to the White House for Trump's highest level face-to-face contact with a Russian government official since he took office in January. (Russian Foreign Ministry Photo via AP) MORE LESS

I was in meetings when this afternoon’s burst of stories hit. For now, I’ll mention one thing. The kinds of discussions, signals, hints that would likely count as collusion would not look much different from what we now know happened in the Oval Office with President Trump and the Russian Foreign Minister.

In this case, of course, there’s no quid pro quo that we know about. The election is over. But that’s not really the point. What really stands out about this is the recklessness of Trump’s actions and his familiarity with Lavrov and Kislyak. As related, the substance of this conversation is that Comey is someone Trump took care of. He’s on the other team from Trump and Lavrov and Kislyak who are familiars.

To be clear, I don’t mean ‘team’ in the charged sense of explicit national loyalties. I mean something more basic and immediate. Comey was a troublemaker who Trump took out and Trump’s confiding in, bragging about it to Lavrov and Kislyak. This mindset, this sense of who’s on which team, who you can confide in makes explicit collusion encounters during the campaign vastly more plausible than they were a couple of hours ago.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: