While candidate Donald Trump ran on an America First platform, it sure seems that in President Donald Trump’s White House, Russia takes centre stage.
Trump is either tweeting about Russia, CNN’s coverage of Russia, defending friends and family against collusion with Russia, or praising President Vladimir Putin as a partner in cyber security. Not for nothin’ but trusting Putin to fight election hacking is like placing America’s national security in the hands of terrorists.
No wonder liberal news giants like The New York Times can’t get enough of Russia: Trump’s feeding the beast. The Times reported a series of stories on Donald Trump Jr.’s giddiness to meet with a “Russian government attorney” to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
First, Don Jr. explained in a statement to the Times that during the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya: “We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow-up.”
But the problem is that statement wasn’t exactly true. Under duress from learning the Times was going to publish another story on the contents of the email exchange, Don Jr. posted the emails on Twitter. And — just like with dad Donald — it did anything but help his cause.
The emails have Russia all over them and give the appearance of collusion. The bottom line is that they aren’t helpful to Trump’s defence in the four different government investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election.
In a June 3, 2017 email to Don Jr., Rob Gladstone, a British publicist, said he was reaching out to him on behalf of Russian music star Emin Agalarov.
“Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” (According to The Times, the title Crown prosecutor is a British term. The equivalent in Russia is prosecutor general of Russia.)
Emin’s father Aras Agalarov, as reported by the Times, “boasts close ties with Putin” and worked with Trump to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Russia in 2013.
Goldstone explicitly added in the email to Don Jr.:
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support of Trump.”
Minutes later, Don Jr. eagerly responded: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
This meeting request doesn’t sound like adoption talk. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kusher, son-in-law and Trump White House advisor, also attended the meeting.
Don Jr. told the Times that during the meeting, Veselnitskaya’s “statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense.” Essentially, she had no dirt on Clinton and the Times conceded as much.
“The precise nature of the promised damaging information about Mrs. Clinton is unclear, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was related to Russian-government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails.”
While there’s no evidence Putin hacked any votes — per former FBI director James Comey’s Congressional testimony — he did hack the Democratic National Committee’s email and tried to influence the election.
But how could Don Jr. be so naive? And when will his father rise above the mountain of Russia-conspiracy controversy to actually govern — and get things done with a GOP majority in Congress?
Either this Russia/Trump thing is on track to be “the greatest witch hunt in political history,” or be the cornerstone of the