It’s hard to fathom how reasonably intelligent people fall into the trap of believing the most ridiculous of stories. Dr. Theodore Woodward came up with the aphorism, “When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras.” It was a warning to medical students who want to believe the common cold is an exotic disease. Law enforcement uses the phrase as well. The solution to a crime is usually the simplest explanation, not a twisted web of events.

The meeting Donald Trump Jr. put together in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer stinks to high heaven. The straw man argument that it’s “no big deal” because it wasn’t illegal is similar to talk I heard from Clinton defenders in the 1990’s. Caught with their hands in the cookie jar, supporters of Bill and Hillary Clinton argued what they may have been immoral, but it didn’t matter because it was not illegal.

Whether it was illegal or not, is irrelevant. The fact is, Donald Trump Jr. was happy to meet with people he thought might have connections to the Russian government and who had information damaging to Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. didn’t care and that makes what he did, at the very least, sleazy.

However, since the news broke, Trump defenders have engaged in mental gymnastics that not even Ripley would believe. Convinced the meeting was nothing but a setup by Democrats, their delusion grows deeper day by day to the point where Alex Jones is giggling at the absurdity of it all.

The basic premise of their theory is Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, worked with Fusion GPS, the opposition research company who helped put together the infamous Trump dossier working with former British intelligence officer, Richard Steele. Veselnitskaya accomplished this in part due to the efforts of the Obama administration’s justice department who allowed Veselnitskaya to enter the country, despite an earlier denial of a visa. Also at the meeting was Rinat Akhmetshin, another person with a shady past with ties to Fusion GPS. Trump supporters believe the meeting was set up with the implicit purpose of using it to damage the Trump campaign and make it appear as though they were in bed with the Kremlin.

Are you dizzy yet from the gymnastics?

To believe this fiction requires one must first accept the Obama justice department knew in 2015 that Trump would be the eventual GOP nominee and therefore allowed Natalia Veselnitskaya into the country despite a visa denial to get the ball rolling on the plot.

Second, the meeting was set up by Democratic operatives and Russians working on their behalf as a means of furthering the narrative Trump was under the influence of the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin. I’m sorry but in June of 2016? That narrative had not even taken hold. Wikileaks hadn’t even published the DNC emails at this point. That didn’t happen until the following month.

Finally, the big question to ask is this: Why wasn’t this information leaked before the election? Trump supporters argue it didn’t get leaked because they were certain Hillary would win. Huh? They went through the trouble of setting up a meeting to further a narrative about Trump yet didn’t leak it to the press because they didn’t think Trump would win? On what planet does this make any sense?

Granted, Democrats excel in incompetence, but nobody is that incompetent. Trump supporters selling this snake oil want you to believe a conversation like this went down:

“Hey, Lynch allowed that lawyer to stay in the country.”

“Okay, good. It’s October 2015. Let’s try and get this meeting set up with Fredo in June of next year.”

“Got it. When completed, how long do we wait to leak it to the press?”

“Why would we do that?”

“To damage the Trump campaign.”

“We don’t need to do that. Hillary is going to win easily.”

“So why are we doing it?”

“Well, based on the off-chance that Trump by some miracle, does win, we can release it down the road. It will play into the narrative Putin controlled the Trump campaign.”

“That’s a narrative?”

“It will be a year after this conversation takes place.”

“Okay, how about this? If Trump wins, we’ll release it July of 2017. It’s the middle of summer. Nobody is paying attention to politics. People are wrapping up their summer vacations. What do you think?”

“That’s perfect! They’ll never suspect anything!”

For the sake of all that is holy, why can’t Trump supporters just admit that Trump Jr. cared only about getting damaging info about Hillary Clinton and didn’t much care who had the information? There are those on the anti-Trump side making the silly argument the meeting amounted to an “in-kind” contribution to the campaign and since it involved foreign nationals, those contributions are illegal. That is also ridiculous.

But please, people, spare us the goofball conspiracies, ok?