Tell me if you’ve heard this story before: Donald Trump emphatically denies any possible collusion with Russia, attacks the media as “fake news,” claims this is all some sort of a “witch hunt” by people out to get him — then a report surfaces exposing a secret meeting that took place between Russian officials, or someone with ties to the Russian government, and a close associate of Trump that wasn’t previously disclosed publicly.
Now we have possibly the most damning report (thus far, anyway), concerning a meeting that took place on June 9, 2016 at Trump Tower between Trump’s eldest son, his son-in-law, and his then-campaign manager, and a Kremlin-backed lawyer who had promised them “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
Or was it a super secret meeting with three of the people closest to Donald Trump’s campaign about a Russian adoption program?
You see, in just the short time that this story has become public knowledge, Trump Jr.’s story has already changed from claiming it was an innocuous meeting about a Russian adoption program to one that centered around the promise of damaging information about Clinton.
That was one of the points of emphasis CNN’s Jake Tapper made Monday when he blasted Trump Jr.’s hypocrisy for admitting that he took a meeting to gather dirt on Clinton just weeks before he had publicly mocked allegations that Russia was trying to help his father.
“That is quite a bit of moral outrage from someone who, just weeks beforehand, had met with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton,” Tapper stated.
Tapper then mentioned how both Trump and Mike Pence had said previously that “to the best of their knowledge” no one in the campaign had met with any Russian officials.
“To the best of our knowledge, at least five former or current members of President Trump’s team have not only had some contact with the Russians, they have lied, changed their stories or not been forthcoming with information about those contacts with the Russians,” Tapper quipped.
He then rattled off a list of names of people tied to Trump’s campaign who’ve been caught in secret meetings with Russian officials: Michael Flynn, Carter Page, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, and now Donald Trump Jr.
Though he didn’t list Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager who was also at the infamous June 9th meeting, who abruptly resigned from that position last August after the AP reported he had worked for pro-Russian forces trying to undermine U.S. policy in Europe.
It’s like I’ve written about before, when it comes to all these secret, shady meetings that are almost never admitted publicly until after someone in the media reports about them — they’re always with someone who has ties to Russia.
But that’s when Tapper asked the question Donald Trump definitely doesn’t want to answer — because he likely can’t.
“If these contacts and conversations with Russians were so innocent, as is being claimed, the obvious question: Why so many lies about them?” Tapper asked.
As I’ve said on numerous occasions here lately, if there’s nothing to hide, then there’s no reason to lie about anything. Yet time after time, people associated with Trump — folks who are very close to him — are continually getting caught lying about or trying to conceal meetings with individuals with ties to Russia. Not Brazil, France, Saudi Arabia, Australia, or Germany — it’s always Russia.
This entire situation begs the question I’ve been asking since this story broke: If Trump’s oldest son, son-in-law, and former campaign manager seemed more than willing to meet with a Kremlin-backed lawyer to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton they had to know was certainly gathered through some sort of illegal means — then why would they have any problem colluding with Russian hackers to do the very same thing?
While it seems like every day we learn more details about the Trump campaign’s contact with individuals who have ties to Russia, I still believe that there’s so much more to this that we could easily be looking at the biggest scandal in United States political history.
Watch Tapper’s comments below via CNN:
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