Donald Trump Jr Admits Attempted Collusion. Manafort and Kushner Also Involved

by Mark Sumner –

Over the weekend, the New York TImes reported that Donald Trump Jr met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer for the express purpose of receiving information he hoped would prove useful against Hillary Clinton. 

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. 

Trump Junior’s initial reaction to the story was, of course, to lie about it. He stated that the meeting had been about an adoption program. But, after the evidence was held very close to his face, Junior admitted that he had met with the woman for the express purpose of getting the goods on Hillary.

In fact, the lure of potential damaging information about Clinton provided by the Russian government, was so strong, that it drew campaign manager Paul Manafort and Son-in-law Jared Kushner to attend the meeting. The trio went into the meeting with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya eager to get information for leverage against Hillary Clinton. But it turned out that the quality of the kompromat offered by the Kremlin-associate was sub-par. Instead, she was more was more interested in discussing the connection between sanctions against Russia and Russia closing down foreign adoptions—a result Trump Junior found disappointing.

In other words, Donald Trump Jr. is openly admitting that, when offered the opportunity to collude with Russia against Hillary Clinton, he jumped at the chance. And the idea of some Kremlin-quality dirt was so tantalizing that Manafort and Kushner crowded in to listen.

Trump Jr. confirmed that he went into the meeting expecting to receive information from the Russian lawyer that could hurt Clinton. That is a breathtaking admission.

The Times story drew from first three, then five sources. Which shows the continued willingness of associates to speak despite Trump’s constantly tightening grip. Still, this meeting would surely be open to cries of “Fake news!” except for the glaring fact that Donald Trump Jr. admitted not just that it took place, but that getting “helpful information” to use against Clinton was the purpose of the meeting.

In a statement on Sunday, Donald Trump Jr. said he had met with the Russian lawyer at the request of an acquaintance. “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 Ms. 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.”

We tried to collude, but it didn’t work out … in this case. And that is the alibi.

Trump Senior hasn’t exactly tossed an arm around his #1 son. Instead, there’s been the sound of a bus warming up.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer, said on Sunday that “the president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”

Junior hasn’t said just who dangled the lure of sweet Kremlin information that had Trump Jr, Kushner, and Manafort jumping like kittens after string. A pair of sources have pointed at British tabloid reporter turned PR agent Rob Goldstone. Goldstone was in Moscow just two weeks before the Junior, Kushner, Manafort meeting. And he has connections to a wealthy Russian real estate family that already had ties to Trump.

In an exclusive interview with FORBES, Emin Agalarov—a Russian pop singer, real estate mogul and son of one of the country’s richest people—described an ongoing relationship with the Trump family, including post-election contact with the president himself.

Trump Junior has been dismissive of the importance of this meeting.

Obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent… went nowhere but had to listen. https://twitter.com/DRUDGE_REPORT/status/884390823881719808 

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos