The good news for President Trump: another week in our power rankings where he doesn't even figure in himself. The bad news: everything here...
1. Carter Page
Last week we highlighted Page’s odd interview with Chris Hayes. This week we highlight his even odder testimony, newly released to the House Intelligence Committee, which he made without the presence of an attorney. In it he appears to accidentally perjure himself several times, reveal that Jeff Sessions has also perjured himself several times, confirm several bombshell parts of the Steele Dossier and introduce Rosneft, the state-owned Russian oil company, into the Russia investigation, which may portend more serious allegations down the line. Many of the people that follow in this week’s power rankings were negatively affected by the testimony.
2. Jeff Sessions
Page’s testimony revealed that, despite Sessions many (shifting) claims under oath, Sessions was included on emails regarding Page’s and Papadopoulos’s proposed Russia trips. Through all the information that’s come out over the past week and a half, Sessions has arguably taken the most direct hits to his public claims of ignorance on Russia and may be in the most legal trouble of any not-yet-indicted campaign members as of now.
3. Paul Manafort and 4. Rick Gates
A week into house arrest—though I’m sure there are worse houses to be confined to—and with a trial date set for May 2018, Manafort and Gates are in the early stages of Robert Mueller’s plan to get them both talking about bigger fish.
5. George Papadopoulos
The reverberations of the announcement of Papadopoulos’s cooperation with the Russia investigation are still being felt across the Trump campaign apparatus, and this week it’s been suggested that a May 2016 Papadopoulos trip to Greece, which coincided with a Putin Greece trip, may be of interest to investigators as well.
6. J.D. Gordon
Page emailed Gordon, who was a Trump campaign advisor and a member of the National Security team on which Papadopoulos and Page served, and which Jeff Sessions led, saying that he had received "incredible insights and outreach from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the presidential administration here.” Again all this comes at a time when all members of the campaign have claimed that there have never been discussions with or about Russia.
7. Michael Flynn
NBC News reported over the weekend that Robert Mueller has more than enough to indict Flynn and his son regarding their dealings with the government of Turkey. That he hasn’t yet indicates that Flynn is cooperating with the investigation or that Mueller hopes to get him to.
8. Sam Clovis
Page testified that he discussed Page’s July 2016 Russia trip (the one where he met Kremlin officials and a Rosneft executive) with Clovis both before and after said trip. Clovis last week withdrew his nomination for USDA Chief Scientist following news of the Papadopoulos charges.
9. Hope Hicks
Welcome to the party, Hope.
10. Donald Trump Jr.
Bloomberg’s headline, “Trump Jr. Hinted at Review of Anti-Russia Law, Moscow Lawyer Says,” pretty much says it all in terms of where the favored Trump boy stands.