It’s difficult to remember how many denials we’ve heard from Donald Trump and everybody around Donald Trump how there have been zero meetings between him or anybody on his campaign with anybody from Russia. Over and over again they’ve denied it, called it “fake news,” or said, “It never happened.”
But it did happen. Donald Trump Jr. made it happen with Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner in attendance. It was a meeting set up by a foreign national (in this case, a Russian) promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton supposedly tied to the Russian government’s attempts to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.
There are a lot of accusations flying around with people arguing Trump Jr. may have violated election laws to screams of “Treason!” The former is a stretch. That latter is absurd. The problem is the apologia coming from conservatives over what happened. I am not talking about “new right” morons such as Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec. I am talking about conservatives who’d have never excused such behavior from a Democrat.
Charles Krauthammer, a constant Trump critic but also somebody who thinks the “Russian collusion” story is overblown, was talking with Martha MacCallum on Fox News when he got frustrated with her excuse-making. Watch:
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) July 11, 2017
He’s right. Claiming the story is “no big deal” since Jr. didn’t get any information out of the meeting is absurd. He was thrilled when he found out and set up the meeting in the hopes he would get damaging information. To write this off now as a “nothing burger” or to argue it happens “all the time” is ridiculous.
As Krauthammer said, for months the White House position is there was “no contact” with the Russians during the campaign. We know now that’s not true. The question is, “How many other meetings took place with Russians we don’t know about?”