And yet here is a document showing that the notion of such a concerted effort was dangled before the eyes of Trump’s eldest son, who responded with glee — “I love it,” he wrote — and hauled his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, who was then the campaign’s chairman, into a meeting about it.
With the walls now closing in around Donald Jr., I wouldn’t be surprised if he says that he didn’t really believe the written claim that this was “very high level and sensitive information” from the Russian government itself.
But evaluate any and all spin from him through the lens of his evasions and empty grandstanding to date. When The New York Times first disclosed the meeting in an article on Saturday, he released a statement implying that the meeting’s purpose was to discuss Russian adoptions.
A day later, he significantly changed his story, admitting in a new statement that he had been led to expect material “helpful to the campaign” and that he cut the meeting off when the Russian lawyer who came to Trump Tower diverted the discussion toward adoptions. Read the statement: Bizarrely and hilariously, it’s so focused on the lawyer’s bait-and-switch and Donald Jr.’s disappointment that it boldly confirms how badly he’d craved dirt and how misleading his initial response to The Times was. Like I said: dim.
The emails released on Tuesday make clear how incomplete both of those versions were, and they appear to contradict his insistence in the second statement that Kushner and Manafort knew nothing about the meeting’s intent.
The release of the emails, at least, is no head scratcher: Donald Jr. apparently believed that The Times was about to publish them anyway and figured that if he beat us to the punch, he’d make it look as if he had nothing to hide. He tweeted that he wanted “to be totally transparent.”
Right. “Transparent” has as much to do with his last four days as…