Donald Trump Is Having a Very Bad Friday

“He ignored questions about Russia and affairs with women.”

Zuma

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Hours after indictments against Russian nationals on charges of election meddling were announced, President Donald Trump finally emerged from the White House on Friday afternoon to board Marine One. Reporters on the scene shouted questions at him, and a line from their pool report sums up the kind of day the president has had: “He gave a thumbs up and seemed to yell something that we couldn’t hear over the noise from the helicopter. He ignored questions about Russia and affairs with women.”

A few hours before the indictments were announced, The New Yorker had published an explosive story outlining how Trump allegedly used financial transactions and legal help to cover up multiple affairs. Many speculated that the story was the reason Melania Trump opted not to join her husband aboard Marine One on their way to Air Force One.

Once aboard Marine One and away from reporters, Trump took out his phone to fire off a tweet emphatically claiming that the indictment announcement proved there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia. 

Trump’s tweet appears to misread the indictment, which revealed that some of the Russians had been in contact with “unwitting individuals” from the Trump campaign. As Mother Jones predicted earlier, the president’s declaration of vindication is a misinterpretation of the fact that these initial charges don’t include collusion. (In announcing the indictment, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was careful to emphasize that no Americans were implicated in the scheme in the current indictment, but did not preclude further indictments that would include Americans.) The tweet was also significant in that Trump characterized Russian interference efforts as an “anti-US campaign,” after having previously dismissed them as a hoax.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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