Donald Trump Jr. is a Russian sycophant-turned-traitor — at least, that’s what a high-ranking Democrat and the mainstream media are selling today.
On Tuesday, The New York Times released a report that unveils emails sent and received by Donald Jr., in which he arranged a closed-door meeting at Trump Tower with a “Russian government attorney” last summer. The emails also indicate that he invited Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, to the meeting.
To anyone who reads the likes of the Times, The Washington Post and CNN.com on a regular basis, this story would seem to be the missing link connecting all of the Trump-Russia conspiracies. If you’re in that camp, you might as well stop reading.
Now, let me address the skeptics.
The Russian lawyer may not be who the media says she is.
Natalia Veselnitskaya — also known as the “Russian government attorney” in the Times report — has been described as a lawyer with “connections to the Kremlin.” She denied these allegations in an exclusive interview on Tuesday with NBC News.
Bolstering Veselnitskaya’s denial is Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky, who lays out why thinking of Veselnitskaya as a “Kremlin power broker” is misleading and fallacious.
“Talk of Veselnitskaya’s Kremlin ties comes from her efforts to lobby for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act,” Bershidsky writes. “It’s entirely possible that a Kremlin effort to help Trump beat Hillary Clinton reached to lower levels because that’s where it was easiest to establish contact with Trump’s family. But it’s more likely that Veselnitskaya, the tenacious and ambitious lawyer who could pull every string in the Moscow Region, did so to get her pet issue — the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, which was getting her major client in trouble — in front of some important Americans.”
A chief spokesman for the Kremlin provided a sarcastic response to the claim that Veselnitskaya is somehow connected with leaders of the Russian government.
“This is just another spin to the plot and it appeared immediately after the bilateral meeting [between the Russian and US presidents],” Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. “On the whole, it definitely looks like a long-running soap opera, which can compete with the most successful TV-series currently aired in the United States.”
A different theory that is being floated around connects Veselnitskaya with Fusion GPS, a firm retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and was responsible for commissioning the discredited Steele dossier.
The Left wants Donald Trump Jr.’s head on a stick.
While Ms. Veselnitskaya certainly adds some much-needed action to this spy thriller, it’s clear that she is not the central figure in it. It’s obvious that the Times is more interested in neutralizing one of their fiercest critics.
“It’s impossible to accept” anything Donald Trump Jr. has to say on the email matter, the Times editorial board wrote Wednesday, “given how untruthful the younger Mr. Trump has been.”
Funny, I don’t recall the paper doling out equal condemnation when Hillary Clinton lied eight times about her private email server. On the contrary, they often rushed to defend her with lines like: “It seems a stretch to say that Mrs. Clinton’s email mishaps should disqualify her for the White House.” Yes, they actually wrote that.
Reporters at the Times only recently began taking Donald Trump Jr. seriously, though.
“[Donald Trump Jr.] has impressed conservatives with a rough, straightforward manner that belies his cushy upbringing,” New York Times’ Laura Holson wrote in a March profile piece titled “Donald Trump Jr. Is His Own Kind Of Trump”.
In the article, Holson adds that Donald Trump Jr. is “a rising figure in Republican politics and a robust defender of the family name.”
Apart from the “cushy upbringing” line — the Trump kids had their own share of challenges growing up — both of these statements could not be truer. Trump’s base has shown a propensity for defending the president’s eldest son in a way that they haven’t for his other children.
In late-June, the Times wrote at length about Donald Trump Jr.’s use of Twitter to denounce the media, where he has been a vocal basher of “fake news” networks. Less than two weeks after the Times wrote the piece on his Twitter habits, the email story dropped.
A coincidence? You decide.
He didn’t go to the FBI because nothing resulted from the meeting.
Talking heads in the media are losing their collective mind over Donald Trump Jr. conducting “opposition research” with a Russian lawyer. As we’ve already mentioned, if you dismiss the idea that Veselnitskaya enjoys a direct channel of communication with Vladimir Putin, she simply becomes just another Russian lawyer. However, that doesn’t fit the narrative that the Times wants to spin, so don’t expect them to dig too deep into her background anytime soon.
Unlike Ukraine, which went to great lengths to influence the election in favor of Hillary Clinton, the media still hasn’t presented a credible link of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Sorry to say it, but asking a friend to arrange a meeting with a Russian lawyer to discuss opposition research on a political opponent does not rise to the level of collusion. Period.
Nevertheless, Donald Trump Jr.’s enemies are making the argument that he never should have agreed to meet with the Russian lawyer in the first place. They start by pointing to the gold standard set by Al Gore in 2000. Except, this is very different from the Gore/Bush incident; Gore actually received legitimate information on Bush.
In the case of Donald Trump Jr., we will never know how he would have handled evidence of a crime committed by Hillary Clinton, because, by all accounts, Ms. Veselnitskaya did not present him with anything of value.
If she had presented him with something significant on Hillary Clinton, perhaps he would have gone to the FBI. Or, maybe he would have sent it up the chain to his father.
Who knows? Maybe he would have leaked it to the media.
Just kidding on that last one.