How, precisely, did so many people with ties to Russia get on the Trump campaign? That is an excellent question that special counsel Robert Mueller will likely spend years pursuing. But, as that unfolds, more and more is coming to light about how the Trump campaign was run, and the short answer can be summed up in a Mad Men bit.
The Washington Post did a deep dive into how Carter Page, among others, found their way onto the Trump campaign. It turns out it’s not a John LeCarre-esque tale of skullduggery, but rather Hanlon’s Razor in action. Page was recommended by Ed Cox, Richard Nixon’s son-in-law, because of course there had to be a Nixon connection. Trump aides, desperate for anybody with even a scrap of seeming credibility, ran Page’s name through Google, and when he didn’t come back as a child molester or mass murderer, he was welcomed onto the campaign.
Of course, you wouldn’t find out through Google that Page had been under surveillance as a potential Russian spy or stooge since 2013, as FISA warrants aren’t public record. And it’s come up in places that sometimes even the Googling didn’t happen; even a cursory look at Michael Flynn’s history would have raised warning well before Flynn was hired, fired less than a month later, and is now pleading the Fifth to avoid handing over documentation. In short, it’s beginning to look like if you stay at a Trump hotel, the staff have better vetting than the administration.
(via The Washington Post)