With all of the Trump-related “bombshells” that regularly float out these days, there aren’t many stories that prompt an open-mouthed reaction anymore. However, the New York Times has published an update (that almost gets there) on Donald Trump Jr.’s sketchy meeting (which was also attended by Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort) with a Kremlin-connected lawyer. The supposed explanation for the shindig — which occurred a few weeks after Trump nabbed the Republican nomination — was that the trio discussed adoption law with Natalia Veselnitskaya. Now, the NY Times says that Trump Jr. was promised “damaging information” on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton before acquiescing to meet with the lawyer. (Smells like collusion?)
This, of course, runs contrary to Trump Jr.’s previous statement, which was that he had no idea who he was meeting, and it was all set up by a nebulous acquaintance. He feigned complete unawareness of the notoriety of Veselnitskaya, who has been monitored by the FBI and is hitched to a minister of the Russian government. Yet the latest update landed with a telling new statement from Trump Jr., plus the New York Times spoke with a total of five White House advisors who decided to leak:
President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.
It is unclear whether the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually produced the promised compromising information about Mrs. Clinton. But the people interviewed by The Times about the meeting said the expectation was that she would do so.
On Sunday morning, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus did the talk show rounds and insisted that the “adoption” meeting was “a big nothing burger,” but maybe he’ll feel differently now that five advisors leaked, all while the DOJ and Congress continue their investigations into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Following the updated story, Trump Jr. has insisted that Veselnitskaya first mentioned her Clinton-related information upon meeting, but nothing really came of it:
“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. 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 … It [soon] became clear to me that [adoption] was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.”
Doesn’t the last line sound like … an admission that Trump Jr. was seeking harmful information about Hillary from the lawyer? If so, he seemed disappointed by not receiving it.
So far, Michael Ian Black hasn’t updated his Twitter feed with any new jokes yet — maybe he used them all up with the first Trump Jr. report — but perhaps more quips are on the way. One can only hope.
(Via New York Times)