It seems Donald Trump Jnr missed the memo from his dad about keeping the whole Russia/Collusion thing under wraps.
This week the President’s son came unstuck when the New York Times reported dealings he’d had with Kremlin-connected Lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, during the 2016 election campaign. Allegedly, the agenda of the meeting was to discuss damaging information implicating Hillary Clinton.
Forced to respond, Trump Jnr made this statement to the press on Saturday:
“It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. 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.
I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”
Knowing his account hardly stacked up, Trump Jnr released a series of tweets defending his behaviour, but the media weren’t buying it. It didn’t help that the president refused to acknowledge his son’s admission for what seemed like hours. And when he did, the response came from his Deputy Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders who, when probed about the issue at a press conference said:
“I’ve got a quick statement that I will read from the President: “My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency.”
A statement so deficient, even Sanders seemed embarrassed to deliver it. She apologised to the press that there wasn’t a more adequate response.
Finally, yesterday, following advice from his legal team Trump Jnr released the full email exchange between himself and Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who arranged the meeting with Veselnitskaya. Goldstone alluding to Trump Jnr that the information he’d soon be privy to, was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy.
And, as anticipated, the emails are damning.
In one, the subject line bears the words “Russia-Clinton- private and confidential” in another Goldstone suggests that the “Crown Prosecutor of Russia” had offered the Trump campaign “some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia,” and that the entire reason was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.
Trump Jnr’s, response shed little doubt about his enthusiasm: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
While Donald Jnr’s legal team continue to douse flames, and refer to the matter as “much ado about nothing”, many others are speculating about how incriminating the issue actually is and what consequences it could cause for the president who claims (implausibly) to have known nothing of the meeting.
“This stinks to holy hell! And it’s time that Republicans stop thinking narrowly and start thinking broadly about defending the American democracy and the integrity of our elections. This is the most important issue facing us.”