Home / General / Another Entirely Innocent Meeting Between the Trump Campaign And a Random State That Was Not Trying to Influence the Election

Another Entirely Innocent Meeting Between the Trump Campaign And a Random State That Was Not Trying to Influence the Election

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I hope Democrats don’t get distracted by this, although [22 paragraphs about how Dems are hysterical conspiracy theorists trying to cover up the fact that Hillary Clinton sucked omitted] I support a full investigation:

Two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times.

The previously unreported meeting was also attended by Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, as well as the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them.

While President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed meetings between his associates and Russians, this episode at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, is the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle during the campaign. It is also the first time that his son Donald Trump Jr. is known to have been involved in such a meeting.

Representatives of Donald Trump Jr. and Mr. Kushner confirmed the meeting after The Times approached them with information about it. In a statement, Donald Jr. described the meeting as primarily about an adoption program. The statement did not address whether the presidential campaign was discussed.

Oh. Also, the malevolent Fredo sez he was totally set up:

In his statement, Donald Trump Jr. said: “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.”

He added: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

The thing is, taking his explanation at face value is almost as embarrassing for Malevolent Fredo as the more likely explanation.

Anyway, I’ll screenshot for a taste but this entire thread is pure gold:

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  • Thomas W

    Change “meaning” to “meeting” in the title.

    The fact that they want us to adopt Slavic babies proves they aren’t Nazis.

    • If you don’t adopt them, how are you going to fatten them up properly? You know orphanages serve only thin gruel, if that.

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        christ, what foster parents do here is *starve* the kids. It’s happened a couple of times just in the last year. Goddamn Branstad and the rest of the R scumbags keep cutting the budget for oversight

        • sigaba

          Without orphans where are independent ranchers supposed to get their free labor and county money?

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            grr. It’s just all gross- they get the kids, take the money, if the kids act up lock them in the basement, homeschool them so no one knows what’s going on and the state stands around with its collective thumb up its collective ass. Bad for the kids, bad for the foster parents who actually *try* to be good for the kids. It just makes me mad to be living around people who enable this shit, who cry all day long about the fucking fetuses but turn their backs the second the kid is born *and see no contradiction*

            • sigaba

              Remember, when it comes to all questions of human welfare, conservatives consider the Donner Party to be the baseline scenario.

              The reason they get so excited about fetuses is because, in the end, fetuses are the only kind of human being they can’t talk themselves into blaming for their own problems. Everybody else gets what they deserve, everybody else was asking for it, ESPECIALLY foster children.

              • Xenos66

                I think the theory is that original sin attaches at the moment of birth, due to icky and morally problematic baby-to-vagina contact.

                Thus, born babies and children are fallen and are just resources to be exploited (just like the rest of us humans), but unborn babies are innocent and to be venerated.

                Either that, or there is no theory or philosophy to this except who is to be servant and who is to be master.

                • Origami Isopod

                  There is theory and philosophy, quite a bit of it. But it’s all window dressing for the servant/master dynamic.

                • Bitter Scribe

                  If you ever want to have some fun with someone who believes in original sin, ask them why that doesn’t equate to “it’s a sin to be born.”

                • N__B

                  There hasn’t been an original sin since Leda and the swan.

                • the actual Bajmahal

                  Yeah, don’t over-think this. It’s just about controllin’ the wimmenfolk and keepin’ the labor pool overflowin’ and cheap.

              • Origami Isopod

                Fetuses can’t talk back, either.

              • ToddTheVP

                Au contraire, have you seen the way ova dress these days? They’re just asking to be fused with. It’s all part of their plan to gestate, be born, and then go on welfare.

              • Pat

                They get excited about fetuses, sigaba, because that allows them to punish women for having both sex and uteri.

            • rm_rm_rm

              Urrrg. I’m remembering the homeschooling wingnuts I knew (much more out-there than most homeschoolers, even of the religious type) at the time the GOP blocked the U.S. from joining a treaty on the rights of the disabled that was modeled on the ADA and pushed by the U.S. They took it as an attack on homeschooling, and they thought the UN’s black helicopters would be coming for their children if we joined the treaty. They opposed it for the same reason they OPPOSE LAWS AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. Who is the state to interfere with the sacred God-given authority of parents over their property?

              The main sources of information for this group were NRA newsletters and the so-called Home School Legal Defense Assoc., which is as much a radical proponent of terrorism as anyone they would like to bomb. We underestimate the vastness and diversity of right-wing propaganda organs when we just talk about cable news and radio.

  • Foxtrot Hotel

    If they were talking adoption, they were talking about lifting sanctions. The whole reason the Russians banned adoption by Americans was in response to the Magnitsky Act, which placed sanctions on high-level Russian government officials.

    Fer chrissakes, these guys can’t even lie without incriminating themselves.

    • SatanicPanic

      Or how he was like “they didn’t tell me who I was meeting… and I brought Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner along”. Right. He just happened to bring along the Russia guy to the meeting when he didn’t even know who he was meeting. A likely story.

    • keta

      Anyone interested in the Magnitsky Act and its genesis is urged to read Bill Browder’s book Red Notice.

      Here’s a bit that jumped out at me from the NYT link:

      Under the (Magnitsky Act) law, some 44 Russian citizens have been put on a list that allows the United States to seize their American assets and deny them visas. The United States asserts that many of them are connected to fraud exposed by Mr. Magnitsky, who after being jailed for more than a year was found dead in his cell. A Russian human rights panel found that he had been assaulted. To critics of Mr. Putin, Mr. Magnitsky, in death, became a symbol of corruption and brutality in the Russian state.
      An infuriated Mr. Putin has called the law an “outrageous act,” and, in addition to banning American adoptions, compiled what became known as an “anti-Magnitsky” blacklist of United States citizens.
      Among those blacklisted was Preet Bharara, then the United States attorney in Manhattan, who led high-profile convictions of Russian arms and drug dealers. Mr. Bharara was abruptly fired in March, after previously being asked to stay on by Mr. Trump.

      Gee, I wonder who suggested to Trump that Bharara be dismissed?

      And how incredible is it that Trump managed to meet with Putin here recently with only Tillerson in attendance? Good grief! How soon before we see an easing of Russian sanctions, especially those relating to Exxon helping the Russians exploit oil reserves in the Arctic? Many feel Tillerson’s appointment was solely based on his getting this deal done, and it seems the window of opportunity for Exxon is closing:

      The clock might now be ticking for Exxon, although the timing is somewhat unclear. The Wall Street Journal reported that “under the terms of its deal with Rosneft, Exxon needs an oil discovery in the Black Sea by the end of this year to obtain a Russian government license to drill” and that its exploration rights in the Black Sea “will” expire if the firm doesn’t act. The New York Times, meanwhile, reported that Exxon “could lose its exploration rights in the Black Sea if it did not begin drilling operations by the end of 2017.”

      I don’t know what I find more lamentable – the fact that the current head of state of the United States of America is so clearly in bed with the Russians, or that almost half of America not only doesn’t care, but makes excuses for the relationship. Strange fucking times, indeed.

      • LosGatosCA

        Better to be a traitor to your country than a traitor to your party.

        Party before country, money above all. It’s the way of this cult.

      • ToddTheVP

        And how incredible is it that Trump managed to meet with Putin here recently with only Tillerson in attendance?

        The part that really bothers me about this is that everyone on NPR (among other outlets, I’m assuming) kept reporting Tillerson’s representations about the meeting as fact. All of these men are pathological liars, why would you believe anything they say? Especially when they’re telling you exactly what you want to hear about him putting Putin’s feet to the fire over election meddling?

    • AGoodQuestion

      Sadly, they can’t get arrested in this town.

  • twbb

    Constant contacts with the Russians and most of Trump’s people are not very bright, but we still can’t get @#$$#[email protected]!# tapes. There has to be SOMETHING on audio somewhere, where is it?

    • Taylor

      I’m waiting for the audio of Trump’s meeting with Putin at the G20 summit.

    • rm_rm_rm

      He’s still using an insecure phone, isn’t he?

      • twbb

        Oh I figured long ago that Trump’s phone was probably being hacked, and I am guessing half the White House is recording the other half, including Trump, out of a sense of survival, I would just like someone to you know, RELEASE something.

  • carolannie

    Sort of like DJT’s charities, notorious for the absence thereof, BUT if the adoption angle was true you KNOW they would have been trumpeting it about, telling how kind and benevolent they are

    • Bizarro Mike

      I’m sure the little tykes have an opportunity to learn the noble cobbler’s trade from Ivanka.

  • Drew

    I love Michael Ian Black.

  • Dr. Waffle

    “Clearly this is another example of the DEEP STATE trying to sabotage the Trump Administration.”

    – Glenn Greenwald, inevitably

    • The Realist

      I thought you were going to end it with “-Sean Hannity, inevitably”. Oh, how far you have come, Glenn…

      • Adam

        <a href =https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2353888 Considering from where he started from it’s more of a case of going full circle.

      • Terok Nor

        The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to say which was which.

  • The Realist

    Repeat after me:” LOL! Nothing matters!”

    Short of leaving office in a bodybag due to a case of acute KFC-induced diabeetus,, Trump ain’t going anywhere until January 20th, 2021, or January 20th, 2025. Give up the impeachment/resignation/22nd amendment fantasies and get to work on the midterm and 202 elections.

    • Bizarro Mike

      He doesn’t have to be impeached to become politically toxic and therefore limited in power. Certainly there will still be plenty of avenues for him to do permanent damage, but any limitation here is good.

    • jpgray

      If I might appeal to your Realism: have you met many campaign volunteers? In my experience they are absolutely stuffed to the synapses with political fantasies. “Ride the blue impeachment wave” isn’t a bad slogan for turning out some door knockers – better than “exfluncticate all vain hopes – Dems 2018.”

      I would also submit that many things appear immovably secure up until the moment they are thrown down and abandoned in their fall. We haven’t reached that point with Trump, but it’s a morbid soul who fails to acknowledge there are several plausible scenarios for its arrival.

      • Pat

        You remember the fall of the Berlin wall too, jpgray?

      • the actual Bajmahal

        Personally, I would join any organization that had the word “exfluncticate” in it’s motto.

    • rm_rm_rm

      Getting the truth (and, hopefully, criminal charges) out there is an end in itself. I want a state of affairs where nearly everyone is forced to acknowledge the truth, and if it can’t be acted upon, the stench of treason will stick to the obstructionists and weasels who keep him in office. I want his inner circle in prison. I want Pence and McConnell exposed as knowing enablers. Half the country thinks this is a fantasy. I want that margin reduced to the lunatic fringe, because Shitgibbon himself is one of the lunatic fringe.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Who do you think you’re arguing with?

  • If it was so innocent, why not tell people?

    • Bizarro Mike

      Certainly, if you’re doing it for the children, why aren’t there reporters present? Because it is a weak-ass cover story to cover up collusion with the Russians?

    • Joe Paulson

      I saw this sort thing when in the past people wanted the Bush Administration to be more open (such as the Cheney Energy Task Force) and related matters — partisans said basically we cannot be trusted in looking at things objectively. It’s not that they have something to hide, mind you. Stop being so suspicious.

  • Brian J.

    But Obama didn’t think we needed to know, because it might make that nice man Mitch mad.

    • that settles it, i’m not voting for Obama again.

    • Kevin

      That’s a dumb reading of the situation. McConnell threatened to make it a partisan issue, which would have made Obama doing anything just more proof of him trying to help Hillary.

      • Brian J.

        And Obama wasn’t a partisan? This is just a bizarre defense.

        • sk7326

          He was – but McConnell and Ryan were heads of a branch of government, if my civics knowledge is right. If they were not going to go with any sort of punitive measure while the race was going on. (especially with evidence that Russia was helping Trump specifically)

          And how do you think such claims by Mr. Kenyan Socialist 2008 would play in the very places where magic had to happen?

          I wish Obama had done more – but the institutional and political issues were real.

          • LosGatosCA

            So you’re telling me that the FBI leakers against Hillary were more savvy in getting their story out than the master politician who appointed Jim Comey?

            I see my error, never mind.

            • sk7326

              no – the FBI leakers were not more savvy, they had a media much more willing to lap it up. Obama’s political mastery was about putting a good 8 years together despite the mountainous obstacles (racism, racism, a very GOP biased national press), not reversing the obstacles. Remember, only Democrats have agency.

          • Brian J.

            And so Obama turned the nation over to the Russians and destroyed his own legacy. Did he just think his time in the White House was a game or an academic exercise? Oh well, too late now.

            • sk7326

              he sanctioned them pretty hard … how do you think the whistleblowing would have turned out

            • sk7326

              i wish the admin outed them. But I also think there is a 75% chance it would have helped Trump.

  • wengler

    There was a notable troll outage on all the places that would be crawling with them creating narrative and generating pushback. I imagine personal attacks against the reporters that write these type of stories will increase as the troll army can’t even fallback on their old standby of ‘I’m a liberal Democrat, but even I am having trouble finding direct collusion between Trump and Russia.’

  • Bri2k

    I keep waiting for some leading light on ABC, CBS, NBC or CNN to ask “What’s up with all the Nazis and Russians in the White House?” Cripes it’s like a bad re-make of the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1940 tweaked to play in the U.S.

  • Origami Isopod

    Jesus Christ.

    As the first commenter says, it’s 476 CE again.

    • wjts

      “Look, Detective, like I told the cop who picked me up two blocks from the site of those chainsaw murders, I had nothing to do with it.”

      “Good enough for me! Say, that chainsaw of yours looks pretty rusty. Why don’t you let me buy you a new one as an apology for the inconvenience we’ve caused?”

      • rm_rm_rm
        • wjts

          Holy hell.

          Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, praised customs for not violating Despres’ rights by holding him without probable cause, noting that he was quickly captured later.

          Lord knows I’m not a huge fan of over-aggressive customs agents and have a lot of respect for the ACLU, but I’d think a suspiciously discolored chainsaw counts as probable cause.

          • rm_rm_rm

            My favorite part is that he crossed the border with “a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, and brass knuckles” in addition to the bloody chainsaw. Also, that photo.

            My least favorite part is that he was arrested in a town where I have family.

            • As they say on the southern-facing coast of Massachusetts, one man’s Matta is another man’s Poisett.

            • Hogan

              I like that he said he worked for the president. This year that’s a pretty credible story.

    • SatanicPanic

      What.The.Fuck.

    • Mellano

      Meanwhile, we’ve learned that not only did Donald Trump not rebuke Putin and Russia for their hacking of U.S. voter databases, the DNC and at least a dozen U.S. power plants, including a nuclear facility in Kansas, Trump promised to set it up a mutual cybersecurity group.

      So is it too soon to call for impeachment if this goes forward? Or would that be impolitic?

  • I thought Junior was Sonny, and Eric was Fredo.

    Ivanka, of course, is Michael.

    • wjts

      I think they’re all Fredos on that bus.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Yeah, there’s certainly no Michael. It’s just a question of how much Sonny there is to go along with the Fredo.

        • Terok Nor

          Sonny’s temper with Fredo’s competence?

          • wjts

            And Luca Brasi’s way with words.

    • dogboy

      I think Godfather is too high an analogy. I’m thinking more like Sopranos. Regardless, I’m waiting for the part where the real mobsters tell the Trumplets, Fuck you pay me.

    • JMP

      Junior is GOB, Eric is Lindsay, and Ivanka is Buster. No one is Michael, since he’s somewhat closer to being sane and normal.

  • I think they were there to adopt Donald Trump.

  • Joe Paulson

    The article explains that the Russian adoption ban is generally seen as a retaliatory response to the Magnitsky Act, which U.S. passed in response to a the murder of a Russian lawyer investigating fraud involving Russian tax officials. (An ironic wrinkle given Trump’s own issues there.) The lawyer met here is known to be as a lobbyist against the Magnitsky Act. So, the alleged “nothingburger” (“we care about the children”) line requires a certain naivete.

    ETA: There is talk of a tape of the Putin and “President” Trump meeting. They are calling it the PP tape. Also, note that the SNL actor plays both Putin and Pence. So much PP.

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