Trump aide’s email reportedly detailed offer for campaign to meet with Russia

Donald Trump made it clear at the beginning of his campaign that he wasn’t going to follow the normal rules or tone of politics. We’re keeping track of all the ways his presidency veers from the norm in terms of policy and rhetoric.

President Donald Trump’s current deputy chief of staff sent an email referencing an effort to get Trump campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin together for a meeting in what appears to be yet more evidence of Russia’s attempts to ingratiate itself with the Trump campaign, CNN reported Wednesday.

Rick Dearborn, who sent the email, had not been previously publicly linked to the federal investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Sources with “direct knowledge of the matter” tell CNN that someone identified only as “WV” in Dearborn’s email wanted to set up the meeting between Putin and the Trump campaign.

It’s not clear if that meeting ever actually happened, or what its purpose was. Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos reportedly also sought to set up a meeting with Russians, but campaign officials seemed to have brushed his requests off.

Dearborn’s email was reportedly sent in July 2016, around the same time that Trump’s son Don Jr. Trump met with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer in order to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Dearborn did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment.

Trump seems to think you can just “clean” coal

“We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal, and it’s just been announced that a second, brand-new coal mine, where they’re going to take out clean coal,” he said at a campaign rally in Phoenix just seven months in his presidency. “They’re taking out coal, they’re going to clean it.”

Despite the president’s excitement, scrubbing coal down before it’s burned — or whatever Trump was implying makes coal cleaner — isn’t how clean coal works. In fact, the concept of clean coal is pretty bogus.

In 2008, the American Council for Clean Coal Electricity spent $40 million to make “clean coal” a household term. And Democrats and Republicans alike bought into it. They started to peddle the idea as a shortcut to a greener economy while continuing to promote using the vast stores of cheap, American coal.

But if clean coal worked at all, it would, in theory, work by either turning solid coal into a gas by applying heat and pressure, in a steamy, oxygen-rich environment or by trying to trap carbon from power plant exhaust.

Either way, though, the technology is still underdeveloped and ineffective, at least for now. Even the Department of Energy’s website concedes that “these technologies are not ready for widespread deployment on fossil fuel based power plants.”

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