Trump's Son Said To Have Met With Russian Lawyer After "Promise Of Damaging Hillary Info": NYT

Two days after the NYT reported that Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., together with then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner - but without Donald Trump himself being present - had met at the Trump Tower with a lawyer who was allegedly "Kremlin connected" on June 9, 2016, shortly after Trump was assured of the Republican nomination, the NY Times has followed up with a new article, one which seeks to explain the one thing that was missing from the original NYT article: the motive behind said meeting, as in retrospect it turned out that members of Trump's campaign simply meeting with a Russian lawyer was less exciting than the NYT had hoped.

Curiously, when the NYT reported of the original meeting it did not have the dramatic punchline it was hoping for - it needed its readers help for that. As it explains, "the Times reported the existence of the meeting on Saturday. But in subsequent interviews, the advisers and others revealed the motivation behind it." In other words, the new batch of anonymous sources only stepped up after reading the original report which, for lack of a better word, was disappointing.

And, as the NYT clarifies in its sequel - citing three advisers to the White House - Trump Jr. agreed to meet with the lawyer, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, only after allegedly being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

And while there is no smoking gun yet again as the NYT admits that "It is unclear whether the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually produced the promised compromising information about Mrs. Clinton", the paper writes that accounts of this meeting "represent[s] the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help." Or technically, the help of a Russian lawyer who denies having acted on behalf of the Russian government.

And apparently not Trump himself: Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer, told the NYT on Sunday that “the president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”

Veselnitskaya told the Times in a Saturday statement that “nothing at all about the presidential campaign” was discussed. She “never acted on behalf of the Russian government," she said, and “never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government.” More importantly, "she recalled that after about 10 minutes, either Mr. Kushner or Mr. Manafort walked out", in other words the meeting was, as Trump Jr. suggested, a waste of time.

Separately, Trump Jr. said in a statement to the paper on Sunday that he had met with Veselnitskaya at the request of an acquaintance after learning she may have a tip about the Clinton campaign, but said she offered nothing of value and instead used “claims of potentially helpful information” as a pretext for a meeting about Russian adoption issues; he denied that he received any information on Clinton.

“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Trump Jr. said in his statement. “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.”

He said they then talked about American adoptions of Russian children. “It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.” Trump Jr. also said he asked Manafort and Kushner to attend, but did not tell them what the meeting was about.

* * *

So what's the punchline?

Well, since as the NYT itself admits that there is yet again no smoking gun - "it is unclear whether the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually produced the promised compromising information about Mrs. Clinton" - the only implied allegation is the NYT's summary that "the accounts of the meeting represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help."

There are just four minor issues with this.

First, the meeting took place in early June, or roughly one month before Russia is said to have "hacked" either  the DNC or Podesta's emails. This is something that even Trump's nemesis, and Comey's frieng, Benjamin Wittes noted on Twitter:

It begs the question: if Russia was planning on hacking Clinton, why not wait one month until it actually had the relevant damning information, instead of allegedly using said information as a false pretext for a meeting with the Trump campaign, only to burn that particular bridge?

Second, if indeed the Trump campaign was hoping to use "hacked" information to attack Hillary, why would the "Kremlin" use Wikileaks or Guccifer2.0 as intermediaries just weeks later, when it could have gone directly to Trump as this narrative implies - whether using Veselnitskaya as a conduit as the NYT infers, or otherwise. Indeed, if this narrative is to be upheld, then one month later Putin, instead of using its "Kremlin connected" lawyer, went directly to the public, by disclosing the DNC emails which eventually led to Wasserman-Schultz' resignation after it was revealed that the Democrats had conspired against Bernie Sanders to benefit Hillary in the Primaries. Incidentally, the source of the leaked DNC emails was not an issue at the time when the pro-Bernie and pro-Hillary camps were engaged in a furious feud against each other. Only later did the Kremlin become a useful scapegoat to deflect attention from the original source of anger within the democratic party.

Third, if this was indeed as blockbuster a meeting as the NYT reporters present it, why was Trump himself absent? After all, if there is anything we have learned in the past year, is that when it comes to acceptable protocol, Donald Trump is the last person to care, and would have been the first person to want to know what this critical "source" has to say.

Finally, there is the question of whether someone was trying to set up the president's son. As Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump’s legal team, said quoted by Circa, “We have learned from both our own investigation and public reports that the participants in the meeting misrepresented who they were and who they worked for,” said “Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier. " He added that "These developments raise serious issues as to exactly who authorized and participated in any effort by Russian Nationals to influence our election in any manner."

* * *

None of that was mentioned in the NYT sequel, whose intention is that just the insinuation of collusion now spread to Trump Jr., will be sufficient to keep the Russia hacking story alive and in play at least a little longer.

Another potential consequence is that at the insistence of Democrats, Trump Jr could be dragged into the Russian investigation. On Sunday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he may push Trump Jr., who runs the Trump Organization with his brother, to testify before the committee.

“We are going to want to question everyone at that meeting about what was discussed,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

In short: anything to keep the "Russia hacking" story - now well past its "sell by" date - going just a little bit longer, even as the first meeting between Trump and Putin has now come and gone. Meanwhile, one year after the alleged Russian hacking, the public still eagerly awaits any evidence of said Russian hacking.

Comments

L Bean Sun, 07/09/2017 - 19:26 Permalink

Trump is SHOOTING HIMSELF IN THE FOOT because ((they)) have commanded him to. Before he was even elected imho. The American Way.

whoflungdung FatTony7915726 (not verified) Sun, 07/09/2017 - 20:12 Permalink

The Truth About Seth Rich & The DNC?Wikileaks Scandal | Stefan Molyneux https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARqKdNd3Glk On July 10th, 2016, Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich was shot twice and killed near his home in Northwest Washington’s Bloomingdale neighborhood. In August 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange strongly implied that Seth Rich was the source of the Democratic National Committee email leak. Recent reports by Private Investigator Rod Wheeler and Fox News have reignited significant interest in the Seth Rich investigation.

In reply to by FatTony7915726 (not verified)

BeanusCountus FrozenGoodz (not verified) Sun, 07/09/2017 - 23:31 Permalink

Well, your picture says it all. Jeezus man, your family is laughing at you. Anyway, if true, anyone from either party would "meet" with any potential source of info that would hurt the opponent. Apparently, the meeting went nowhere. And hey, Trumps are a lot of stuff. But, a little tweeting aside, "idiots" is not probable. (With your haircut, you just might fit the category.) How bout you keep your eye on big picture. Realize its hard cause of your "bun", but pay attention. The Donald is trying to HELP this country. Wrong on a few items, in my book, but make no mistake he's trying to shake up what the majority of America thinks is bad. Calling out his wife and relationships are bullshit. You want to go on Hillary and her spousal relationship? For heavens sake, she was given up for a blowjob and a cigar. Think about that.

In reply to by FrozenGoodz (not verified)

nmewn FrozenGoodz (not verified) Sun, 07/09/2017 - 19:46 Permalink

So Frozen Goodz, we are expected to believe that Trump Jr "colluded" with a "Russian agent", in June, inTrump Tower (lol) while his dad had Secret Service protection as the presumptive presidential nominee, while there was at least one active FISA warrant against his "associates" procured by the Obama administration even as, Brennan, Comey or Clapper didn't pull him off to the side and say "Be careful who "your people" are hanging out with."?Why...what could it all possibly mean? ;-)

In reply to by FrozenGoodz (not verified)

FrozenGoodz (not verified) nmewn Sun, 07/09/2017 - 20:12 Permalink

White/m/+35/Wisconsin?

Defend the President's son meeting a Russian lawyer to obtain 'damaging' intel of the opponent, without mentioning Obama or Hillary please. I've got all Fox conspiracies to date written down

In reply to by nmewn

nmewn FrozenGoodz (not verified) Sun, 07/09/2017 - 20:22 Permalink

"White/m/+35/Wisconsin?"Your powers of logic, deductive reasoning & computing are completely underwhelming, I'm using a mask...I'm really a 67yr old Kazak woman sitting in the Kremlin...LMAO!!!So she said (if we are to believe anyone at any given moment) that she had some dirt on H____y Crony (because you prohibit me to name a corrupt washed up old crone) as some sort of entreaty to get a meeting with Donaldus Magnus (who wasn't there). She had no opposition research to offer (which became apparent during the meeting) then she turned to talking about adopting Russian children, which seemed to be her true purpose for asking for a meeting.Anything else?

In reply to by FrozenGoodz (not verified)

nmewn FrozenGoodz (not verified) Mon, 07/10/2017 - 05:58 Permalink

Nyet tovarisch, if there were anything wrong you can rest assured Comey, Brennan or Clapper would have referred the matter to Lowrenta Lynch to bring charges under the Espionage Act against them instead of it being, ya knowaw, just another random entry on Susan Rices spreadsheet that she shared with O'Barry every morning thanks to FISA warrants.As an aside, you people living in glass houses really shouldn't be tossing so many rocks around, you are liable to break something you value far moar than Hillary's shattered honor ;-)

In reply to by FrozenGoodz (not verified)

otschelnik LibertarianMenace Mon, 07/10/2017 - 03:50 Permalink

Well this is interesting.  Some background info: Magnitsky was the attorney for Hermitage Capital, which became embroiled in a scandal when the accounts were frozen and the entire fund was embezzled.  The people involved were from the Russian ministries of justice and internal affairs (police force), who were closely related to then minister of defense, Anatoly Serdyukov.  Serdyukov previously was deputy director of the tax inspectorate in charge of the Khodorkovsky/Sibneft investigation, and worked closely with above-mentioned individuals in law enforcement.  Magnitsky was arrested and died in jail, and congress invoked sanctions.  Now if this lawyer Veselnitskaya is lobbying to revoke Magnitsky sanctions, and at the same time friendly with democratic party subcontractor Fusion GPS (i.e. the yellow shower dosier), and insinuating herself offering to renew suspended US adoptions of Russian orphans .... she's a player.  

In reply to by LibertarianMenace

PitBullsRule Sun, 07/09/2017 - 19:34 Permalink

His son sold some real estate to a Russian at a much higher price than he paid for it.  No big deal right deplorables?  Except he bought the real estate at the peak of the bubble, and sold it when real estate was tanked and nobody was buying it.  Pure coincedence right deplorables?  Just like Felix Sater, the son of a Russian Mafiosa, who worked for Trump, and had an office in Trump Tower, pure coincendence right deplorables?!You dumb stupid mother fuckers will figure it out about 10 years after its too late, just like you always do.  Thats why we call you deplorables!