On Friday, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that RNC deputy finance chair Elliott Broidy paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate in exchange for her silence about an affair. The hush deal was negotiated by another RNC deputy chair — Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, who was the target of an FBI raid on Monday.
News of the Broidy payment comes less than three months after the Wall Street Journal broke news that the then-finance chair of the RNC, Steve Wynn, had engaged in serial sexual harassment and assault.
But if you think any of those myriad scandals are preventing the RNC from trying to wage an offensive, think again. Ahead of the release of James Comey’s book next Tuesday — a book that contains a number of unflattering anecdotes about President Trump — the RNC is doing Trump’s bidding by attempting to smear and discredit the former FBI director.
The effort is not going well. On Friday, RNC spokesman Kayleigh McEnany went on Fox News and asserted that while Comey may be a total liar, certain passages of his book nonetheless exonerate Trump of allegations he colluded with Russia.
On Saturday, McEnany was back at it, defending the RNC’s role in the push to discredit Comey on Fox News by asserting that White House officials are too busy to do it themselves.
“The White House is very busy obviously with the Syria strikes and a host of other policies that affect the lives of everyday Americans, but we at the RNC are here to aid and assist the president in all of his efforts,” McEnany said. Her comments came mere hours after the White House spent most of Friday doing everything it could to persuade the public that Comey is a “LEAKER & LIAR” and an “untruthful slime ball,” to use President Trump’s words.
Asked if Trump is worried about Comey — the White House has spent all day trashing him — Sanders says, "not at all."
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 13, 2018
McEnany defended Trump’s juvenile smears. She dismissed concerns about the president’s language debasing his office, saying Trump is just “punching back.”
“We have no problem with that because he’s counter-punching,” she said. “[Comey] attacked him first.”
On Friday, RNC chair Ronna McDaniel went on CNN for a segment about Comey’s “salacious” book and a website the RNC has put together to try and discredit it. It also went poorly.
“I think the book is salacious, and when you read it, he discredits himself,” McDaniel said, prompting Jake Tapper to ask her if she’s even read it.
“No, I haven’t read it,” she admitted, as Tapper incredulously shook his head.
.@GOPChairwoman RONNA MCDANIEL: "I think [Comey's] book is salacious, and when you read it, he discredits himself."
TAPPER: "Have you read it?"
MCDANIEL: "No, I haven't read it."
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 14, 2018
During her interview with Tapper, McDaniel sought to distinguish between the numerous scandals embroiling the RNC’s leadership and the broader Republican Party, saying that “the elected leaders of the Republican Party [are] the party that passed a massive tax cut, that helped the middle class in this country.”
McDaniel went on to suggest that everyday Americans don’t care if their elected officials are supported by money raised by abusive men and criminals.
“When I go to grocery stories, and when I talk to people about this party and this country, they’re worried about what are Republicans putting in place that is going to make my life better,” she said.