In a supposed bombshell, The New York Times reported Monday that President Trump asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation and urged him to work with U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
"The discussion with Mr. Morrison shows the extent to which Mr. Trump views the attorney general as a crucial partner: The president is using federal law enforcement powers to aid his political prospects, settle scores with his perceived 'deep state' enemies and show that the Mueller investigation had corrupt, partisan origins," The Times reported.
The implication was ominous, but it was also completely mischaracterized. President Trump has been since May openly calling for an investigation into what exactly happened when Australian ambassador Alexander Downer allegedly talked with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos about emails Papadopoulos said a Russian contact had promised him.
"The Attorney General is one of the most respected people in this country and he has been for a long period of time," President Trump told reporters as he prepared to board Marine One on May 24th. "He's going to look at a lot of documents; some he may find interesting, maybe he'll find none interesting. But for over a year people have asked me to declassify, so what I've done is I've declassified everything. He can look, and I hope he looks at the U.K., and I hope he looks at Australia, and I hope he looks at Ukraine.
"I hope he looks at everything because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country. It's the greatest hoax probably in the history of our country and somebody has to get to the bottom of it."
Four days later, Morrison's government pledged its full cooperation with this planned investigation, sending a letter to Attorney General Barr and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
"The Australian Government will use its best endeavours to support your efforts in this matter," Ambassador Joe Hockey wrote on May 28th. "While Australia's former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, The Hon. Alexander Downer, is no longer employed by the Government, we stand ready to provide you with all relevant information to support your inquiries."
This letter predates the phone call between Trump and Morrison by nearly three months and does not indicate anything other than a complete willingness to cooperate with an ongoing investigation independent of any threat or coercion by the Trump Administration.
A spokesman for Morrison reiterated this on Monday.
"The Australian government has always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation," he said. "The P.M. confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the president."
In other words, there was no undue pressure from President Trump, no quid pro quo offer, no impropriety of any kind.
Dan discussed this in depth on Monday's show. Click on the player below to listen and be sure to subscribe to "The Dan O'Donnell Show" so you don't miss a minute of Dan's debunking of Democrat impeachment insanity.