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Monday, May 8, 2017

What Did We Learn From Today's Hearings?

There was a Senate committee hearing today at which former acting Attorney General Yates and former Director of National Intelligence Clapper testified.  It was carried live by the news networks (at least in part).  It got immense coverage elsewhere.  So what did we learn from this heralded testimony about the supposed Russia/Trump election connection or the Obama spying on the GOP campaign for political purposes?  The short answer is NOTHING.  Here are the highlights of the day (to the extent there were any.)

1.  DNI Clapper repeated his prior statement that after investigations by the FBI, CIA and NSA, he knew of no evidence of any collusion or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians concerning the 2016 election.  Yates wouldn't offer an opinion on the subject because she said it would require her to discuss classified information; she added that she was not implying that there was or was not evidence, only that she could not talk about it due to items that were classified.  If this were the first time we were told that there is no evidence of collusion or cooperation, it might be a big story, but this was the umpteenth time this has been announced.  Despite the lack of any evidence being disclosed, the media and the Democrats continue to talk about cooperation/collusion with Russia as if something of the sort actually happened.

2.  Yates said that she warned the White House Counsel that General Flynn had lied about what he had discussed with the Russian ambassador in a phone call in December and that this could compromise him.  This is nothing new.  Flynn was fired shortly after Yates gave her opinion to the White House, so this is a dead issue.

3.  Clapper said that he had seen surveillance documents in which people affiliated with the Trump campaign had been unmasked.  Yates agreed.  Neither could give details due to the classified nature of the information.

That's it.  A whole day was spent and the highlights were just old information.

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