satellite

In his prepared statement to Congress of 8 June 2017 (released 7 June), former FBI Director James Comey wrote about a 30 March phone call he had with President Trump:

The President went on to say that if there were some “satellite” associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out.

Now that’s an unusual use of the word satellite, a fact that Comey was apparently aware of because of his use of quotation marks. The word is most commonly used in the astronomical sense of a body, either natural or artificial, that orbits around another. It’s also used in a political sense of a client-state of a larger power and in a few other senses where one thing is subservient to a larger entity. The word, however, is not typically used to refer to people. But this was not always the case.

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