Just a day after Sen. Al Franken publicly accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions of perjury, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) went public on CBS with a theory that appears to have been bothering him: “You can imagine a set of circumstances in which the Trump campaign gave him talking points [and] he was a message boy for them.” The purpose, Whitehouse suggested, was for Sessions to convey “Mission accomplished” after meeting with his Russian handlers. It is a curious notion that Sessions was a Manchurian senator but the Russian ambassador still met with him in the presence of staffers on the Hill or in public at the Republican National Convention. If this is a sequel to the Manchurian Candidate, I may have to pass.
Whitehouse dismissed Sessions explanation and noted “You can imagine a set of circumstances in which the Trump campaign gave him talking points [and] he was a message boy for them . . . There was a content related to the relations between U.S.A. and Russia, favorable to Russia that would have encouraged them to support the Trump campaign. And then he returned back to the Trump campaign and said, ‘Done it, you know, mission accomplished here.'”
Notably, unlike Franken, Whitehouse (correctly) said that it was premature to accuse Sessions of perjury even though he found it “really, really hard to believe that he didn’t remember that.” Yet, he was interested in whether Sessions was the “message boy” for Russian masters.
In fairness to Whitehouse, there is a valid basis for investigation over the Russian interference in the election. I have objected to the level of moral outrage being expressed by politicians. Moral outrage by politicians is something of a performance art in Washington.
The question is how Whitehouse would uncover the Manchurian Candidate if the two staffers support his account of the brief meeting in his Senate office. There is also the truly moronic use of one of the most visible members of the Trump team as your “message boy.”
Time will tell but this sequel may need some plot work.