Tick tock: 'The name Trump is as popular as herpes these days'
This only hours after former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and business associate Rick Gates were arrested under a plethora of charges that added up to bail being set at $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates.
Strangely, Trump stopped tweeting about "no collusion" once the Papadopoulos news broke.
What didn't stop, though, was a maelstrom of commentary regarding the events of the day.
Prairie Home Companion creator Garrison Keillor, in a tongue-in-cheek take down of Trump, offered perhaps the most colorful takeaway: "the name Trump is as popular as herpes these days."
Here's what others had to say:
The first big takeaway from Monday morning’s flurry of charging and plea documents with respect to Paul Manafort Jr., Richard Gates III and George Papadopoulos is this: The president of the United States had as his campaign chairman a man who had allegedly served for years as an unregistered foreign agent for a puppet government of Vladimir Putin, a man who was allegedly laundering remarkable sums of money even while running the now-president’s campaign, a man who allegedly lied about all of this to the FBI and the Justice Department. The second big takeaway is even starker: A member of President Trump’s campaign team admits that he was working with people he knew to be tied to the Russian government to “arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government officials” and to obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of hacked emails—and that he lied about these activities to the FBI. He briefed President Trump on at least some of them. -- Susan Hennessey & Benjamin Wittes of Lawfareblog.com
Even as President Trump was on Twitter insisting that the indictment (of Manafort) was meaningless ... came news that former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with, wait for it, Russia.The Manafort news drew bigger headlines ... But the Papadopoulos guilty plea -- and the fact that he has been cooperating with the special counsel investigation since his July arrest -- strikes me as significantly more problematic for Trump and his White House in the medium-to-long term." -- Chris Cillizza, CNN
"In short, the unexpected unsealing of the Papadopoulos guilty plea reveals that the months of speculation and rumour regarding possible connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government are not only true, but represent what can only be described as the biggest political scandal in recent history. And this is only Mueller’s opening move." -- Scott Gilmore, Maclean's magazine
"Clearly, the Papadopoulos guilty plea is today’s worst news for the Trump administration. But the Manafort and Gates indictments aren’t exactly good news. At minimum, they show Trump put his campaign in the hands of a sleazy tyrant-fellating influence peddler who laundered a staggering $75 million to avoid taxes—much of it through a Cyprus bank tied to Russia. Also, given Manafort’s work on behalf of Russian-allied Ukranian organizations and leaders, Mueller is almost certainly still examining whether Manafort used those ties to encourage Russian support for Trump." -- Joan Walsh, The Nation
"If we're going on what we know now...it would not appear to do any particularly serious damage" to Trump. -- Brit Hume, Fox
"These reported indictments show that the special counsel’s probe is ongoing in a very serious way. The rule of law is paramount in America and the investigation must be allowed to proceed unimpeded. The President must not, under any circumstances, interfere with the special counsel’s work in any way. If he does so, Congress must respond swiftly, unequivocally, and in a bipartisan way to ensure that the investigation continues." -- U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
"Today's announcement has nothing to do with the president, and has nothing to do with the president's campaign, or his campaign activity." -- Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary
"As long as Robert Mueller fails to turn up evidence to show Russia stole the election, the American left will continue to believe in an elaborate conspiracy. It is far easier to believe that than to believe Hillary Clinton ran a terrible campaign." -- Erick Erickson, The Resurgent/Fox
"Papadopoulos’s indictment doesn’t directly prove collusion on its own, but it undermines the Trump White House’s claims of ignorance on behalf of the president and his inner circle ... The one-two punch of the Manafort and Gates indictment, followed by the Papadopoulos plea deal just over an hour later, also suggested that Mueller was taking the hostile political climate into consideration. Before Monday, many observers thought Manafort was the likeliest subject of an expected indictment. But the Papadopoulos revelations came as a complete surprise and undermined conservative talking points." -- Matt Ford and Adam Serwer, The Atlantic
"Trump is conditioning Republicans and conservatives to view his upcoming legal defense entirely through the lens of partisanship. With the broad cooperation of conservative media, there is every reason to think he might succeed ... As the indictments begin to come down, Republicans need to ponder what legal and ethical lines, if any, they are willing to draw ... Obscuring or excusing Russian influence on the American political process is a dangerous disservice to the country. Supporting Trump in a power play against the special counsel and his investigation would be an attack on the stability and legitimacy of the Republic — a source of infamy in American history.To what circle of hell are Republican officials about to consign themselves?" -- Michael Gerson, Washington Post