As somebody who remembers the outrage from some who were in attendance at the 2016 RNC convention, in Cleveland, I wondered how long it would be before somebody brought this to special counsel Robert Mueller’s attention.
Now, according to Reuters, Mueller’s team have made their way back to Cleveland, Ohio’s Quicken Loans Arena, and the events that transpired through that four day event.
There are several events that sources say Mueller is interested in digging into. One would be then-Senator Jeff Sessions’ contact with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
Investigators have asked detailed questions about conversations that Sessions, then a Trump campaign adviser, had at a convention event attended by then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak, said the first source, who was questioned by Mueller about the event.
The same source said Mueller’s team also has been asking whether Sessions had private discussions with Kislyak on the sidelines of a campaign speech Trump gave at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel in April 2016.
Sessions’ spokespersons have denied repeatedly that he had any private discussions with Kislyak at the Mayflower, although Sessions has admitted to speaking briefly to Kislyak at the event.
It’s those brief, in-passing moments that keep coming up, and that were the reason Sessions had to recuse himself from the ongoing Russia probe.
So what else could be piquing the interest of Mr. Mueller?
The language in the Republican platform regarding Ukraine and Russia was “softened,” and nobody seems to want to take credit for that.
At one committee meeting, according to people in attendance, Diana Denman, a member of the platform committee’s national security subcommittee, proposed language calling for the United States to supply “lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine’s armed forces and greater coordination with NATO on defense planning.”
But the final platform language deleted the reference to “lethal defensive weapons,” a change that made the platform less hostile to Russia, whose troops had invaded the Crimean peninsula and eastern Ukraine.
After the convention, Denman told Reuters in 2016, J.D. Gordon, a Trump foreign policy adviser, told her he was going to speak to Trump about the language on Ukraine, and that Trump’s campaign team played a direct role in softening the platform language.
Trump’s campaign team are playing dumb, saying they had nothing to do with the softer language in the platform.
Of course they didn’t. Denman just pulled that one out of thin air.
There were a lot of stories coming out of the convention, most of it involving Priebus-led shenanigans to deny members of the Free the Delegates movement a voice on the convention floor.
If Mueller really wants to get a bird’s eye view, maybe he should contact the folks involved with that and hear just how desperate the actions of Trump’s supporters were at that event.