No, not Russia collusion. Despite years of searching, there’s still no evidence that happened. This horrifying new misdeed they have uncovered has nothing to do with Vladimir Putin. Instead, it’s about sex. Here’s how The New York Times describes it: “President Trump directed illegal payments to ward off a potential sex scandal that threatened his chances of winning the White House.”
In other words, Trump paid off former girlfriends.
So, let’s assume that happened. We don’t know for certain that it did; we’d need videotape to prove that. For the sake of debate, let’s just say it did. Why would sending money to women be considered a crime?
Because, federal prosecutors and their lackeys on TV are telling us, Trump was running for president at the time. Therefore, his payments constitute a campaign finance violation, even though the money apparently didn’t come from his campaign. That’s the argument.
There’s no precedent for that argument, to put it mildly. Bill Clinton tried to keep his affair with Monica Lewinsky secret by giving her a government salary. Nobody suggested that was a campaign finance violation. Even when presidents have admittedly violated campaign finance laws, impeachment and felony charges never entered the conversation.
Barack Obama, for example, ran for president in 2008. His presidential campaign was found guilty of campaign violations involving nearly $2 million. That’s almost ten times the payments Trump made. No one was prosecuted for that. The Obama campaign got off with a $375,000 fine to the FEC.
The good people of NBC News are disgusted by what Donald Trump did. Paying off female accusers? That’s just wrong. As Nancy Pelosi might say, it’s “immoral.” It’s not something NBC would engage in or tolerate or countenance. Ever. Except possibly under extreme circumstances.
In 1998, Chuck Schumer was caught taking $1 million in “excessive contributions.” He also failed to properly disclose $6.4 million in expenses. The consequences of all this: Schumer paid a $138,000 fine. Chuck Schumer is still in the Senate today.
Senator John Edwards, meanwhile, funneled up to a million dollars in donor money to his mistress in the middle of a presidential campaign. He never spent a day in jail. Edwards was sleazy. He wasn’t a criminal.
For some reason, you haven’t heard any of this background on NBC recently. The good people of NBC News are disgusted by what Donald Trump did. Paying off female accusers? That’s just wrong. As Nancy Pelosi might say, it’s “immoral.” It’s not something NBC would engage in or tolerate or countenance. Ever.
Except possibly under extreme circumstances, like on those occasions when hiding the sexual misbehavior of its high-paid anchors seemed important to quarterly earnings. Or when accused rapist Harvey Weinstein called in for a favor. Or other times, too.
But those were entirely different circumstances because Donald Trump was not involved. And Trump is a very bad man, even though he once worked at NBC and made tens of millions of dollars for the company. But, again, that was different.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on December 11, 2018.
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