Trump admits son met Russian for information on opponent

Minnie Murray
August 7, 2018

Sekulow's comments came shortly after Trump tweeted earlier Sunday another acknowledgment that the meeting was "to get information on an opponent", which he characterized as "totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere". Well, well, would you look at that: the patented "how dare this Fox moron accuse me of smoking something other than premium cigars" tweet.

Trump Jr went on to blame the Democrats and cable news outlets for blowing the meeting with the Kremlin-connected lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, out of proportion.

"Trump says son's Trump Tower meeting with Russians meant to "get information" on Clinton". They described the statement, which had not mentioned that the Russian lawyer was expected to bring damaging information about Clinton, as "short but accurate".

Donald Trump Jr. ultimately released this email chain where the meeting was offered as, quote, "offering official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russian Federation".

Emails arranging the meeting showed that Rob Goldstone, a former music publicist with ties to both Trump and Moscow, told Trump Jr. he had "official documents and information that would implicate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russian Federation and would be very useful to your father", which was "part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump".

President Trump himself seemed to shrug it off, saying in July 2017 that, "from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting".

"Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don Jr attended in order to get info on an opponent", Mr Trump tweeted.

Mirengoff explained that the Times is confusing the objective of the meeting - for Trump, getting the information about Clinton - with the focus of the meeting - "what the participants actually talked about".

As the investigation presses ever-deeper into Trump's potential ties to Russians involved in corrupting the US presidential election, he can not stop changing his story. As David R. Lurie of Slate noted, Trump's actions in lying about the meeting and instructing his top lawyer to also lie would appear to constitute obstruction of justice, which current Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh argued during Bill Clinton's scandal could lead to impeachment. "Trump thinks he's saying too much", said a Republican close to the White House. We can talk about all these questions of campaign finance law and possible defrauding of the United States.

The President reportedly has been advised to knock off the tweeting about the meeting with the Russians. Trump tweeted, igniting further controversy on just how much, and if at all, he and his campaign had colluded with Russian Federation. "Then it was revealed in June that Trump's lawyers had admitted to Mueller in a letter sent last January that Trump had actually "dictated" the statement".

When the meeting was first reported by the New York Times, Donald Trump Jr said in a statement that he and Ms Veselnitskaya had mostly discussed a suspended programme for Americans to adopt Russian children.

President Trump denies any collusion. But Giuliani and other Trump lawyers have repeatedly warned him about the potential challenges of doing so and delayed a decision.

Indeed, that's been the Trump team's story. But also, they didn't give us anything good, and we didn't act on it.

"I'm sure that Rudy Giuliani spends big chunks of his days chain-smoking cigarettes, white-knuckling it, just hoping another tweet doesn't show up", Goldberg said on air. And at a trio of rallies, he escalated his already vitriolic rhetoric toward the media, savaging the press for unflattering coverage and, he feels, bias.

So today's breathless headlines are, as the Powerline blog's Paul Mirengoff called them, "fake news".

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