Sunday, July 9, 2017

Leaky, Leaky

The Trump Jr plot sickens.
President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.

  NYT
What? Hillary wanted to adopt a Russian baby?

I seem to recall Junior saying the only thing that was dealt with in that meeting was an adoption program.

The White House has so many leaks, I can't believe it's still floating.
The Times reported the existence of the meeting on Saturday. But in subsequent interviews, the advisers and others revealed the motivation behind it.

The meeting — at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican nomination — points to the central question in federal investigations of the Kremlin’s meddling in the presidential election: whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. The accounts of the meeting represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.
"Some." I think it's pretty obvious by now it was every damned one of those sleazy bastards.
[T]he episode at Trump Tower is the first such confirmed private meeting involving his inner circle during the campaign — as well as the first one known to have included his eldest son.
Is he supposed to be the smart one?
It came at an inflection point in the campaign, when Donald Trump Jr., who served as an adviser and a surrogate, was ascendant and Mr. Manafort was consolidating power.

[...]

[O]n Sunday, presented with The Times’s findings, he offered a new account.
Surprise, surprise.  What is it this time?
[H]e said he had met with the Russian lawyer at the request of an acquaintance from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, which his father took to Moscow.
Oh, this is going to be good.
“After pleasantries were exchanged,” he said, “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.
Oh! It's not the Trump campaign that colluded with the Russians at all. It was Clinton!
"Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”
Yeah, Junior wasn't born yesterday. He was too smart to fall for that!
He said she then turned the conversation to adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers.

[...]

“It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting,” Mr. Trump said.
But that's the bait you bit! Whether you actually got any information on Hillary or not, that's why you went there. You pathetic, clueless idiot.

Here's what I think is most likely:  Junior thought he was going to play in the big leagues and when he got the chance to meet with a Russian who claimed to have info on Clinton, he went along.  He may not even have been the one to be contacted first.  But, he might.  I'm sure there were all kinds of Russians coming out of the woodwork to get a hook in one or the other of the Trumps whom they already knew to be willing to deal in corruption. And if he did get the contact himself, more savvy members of the team would have sent Manafort and Kushner along,* knowing Junior couldn't be relied on to handle the situation on his own. At any rate, there was always going to be a quid-pro-quo.  The Russian woman came with information on Hillary in exchange for a promise to reverse Obama's blacklisting of Russian human rights violators (which is where the adoption program comes into play) once Trump won the presidency.

Does this dolt really think anybody is buying any of this shit he's trying to sell? Does he have a lawyer? Because he badly fucking needs one.
Lawyers for Mr. Kushner referred to their statement a day earlier, confirming that he voluntarily disclosed the meeting but referring questions about it to Donald Trump Jr.
Let him hang his own idiot self, eh?  Kushner's not talking to reporters.
Two people briefed on the meeting said the intermediary was Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid journalist and the president of a company called Oui 2 Entertainment who has worked with the Miss Universe pageant.
Somebody with the Miss Universe pageant set this up? Christ. It's like a fucking Woody Allen movie in here.

I'm more inclined to believe it was a Junior enterprise, now.  Or better yet - Trump himself.  Working through somebody outside the political arena that he already had some Russian connection dealings with, and throwing Junior a bone so he could feel involved.  The Keystone Cops go to Washington.
[I]n an interview with The Times in March, [Donald Trump Jr.] denied participating in any campaign-related meetings with Russian nationals. “Did I meet with people that were Russian? I’m sure, I’m sure I did,” he said. “But none that were set up."

[...]

In his statement [regarding the meeting, he] said he asked Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner to attend, but did not tell them what the meeting was about.
And they simply came. Sure.  They had nothing better to do.*

Guess what, Junior? You're being set up by smarter guys in the room to take the fall. Is your daddy okay with that?
On Sunday morning on Fox News, the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, described the Trump Tower meeting as a “big nothing burger.”
After this is all over, Priebus is going to be the big nothingburger.
[The Russian in the meeting] Ms. Veselnitskaya said in a statement on Saturday that “nothing at all about the presidential campaign” was discussed at the Trump Tower meeting. She recalled that after about 10 minutes, either Mr. Kushner or Mr. Manafort left the room.

She said she had “never acted on behalf of the Russian government” and “never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government.”
I'm sure the Trumps appreciate her cooperation.

Did she not know who Kushner and Manafort were? Couldn't tell them apart? Just doesn't remember who left the room?
The Trump Tower meeting was disclosed to government officials in recent weeks, when Mr. Kushner, who is also a senior White House aide, filed a revised version of a confidential form required to obtain a security clearance.
Kushner, with a titty in the wringer, is squealing. He's not as dumb as the Trump boys. Nor is Manafort.
Mr. Manafort, the former campaign chairman, also recently disclosed the meeting, and Donald Trump Jr.’s role in organizing it, to congressional investigators who had questions about his foreign contacts, according to people familiar with the events.
I wonder it's not clear to Junior they're pointing the finger straight at him. Just not that bright, I guess.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

UPDATE:



FURTHER UPDATE:  Burying Junior

FURTHER FURTHER UPDATE:  July 11, we now know that Junior was contacted by email by Goldstone telling him there was some Russian government info that would help his father's run for president, and Junior forwarded the email conversations to Manafort and Kushner, to get them involved in the meeting.

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