As with all political intrigue, the recent release of the Donald Trump Jr. emails regarding his meeting with the Russian attorney has been overwhelmed with both political spectrum sides trying to dominate the narrative. The anti-Trump crowd is wooing about the criminality of it, while the pro-Trump side is arguing nothing to see here, move on. Lost in the rhetoric is a fundamental reality of what the email thread reveals.
The Donald Trump Jr. emails reveal one very undeniable fact:
That the Donald Trump campaign was aware that the Russian government was actively working on their behalf, and that it welcomed the Russian support of the campaign.
Let’s look at two very poignant passages in the emails:
On Jun 3, 2016, Rob Goldstone wrote “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” [emphasis mine]
As you can clearly see, Donald Trump Jr. expected detrimental information about the Clinton campaign from Russian government sources.
The email continued, “this is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” [emphasis mine]
You can clearly see that Trump Jr. was not surprised to read that the Russian government supported his dad’s run for office. No amount of political spinning will not make that inconvenient fact go away.
Donald Trump Jr. responded, “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.” [emphasis mine] There is no ambiguity about the excitement of receiving help from the Russians.
These are undeniable facts. They reveal that Donald Trump, Jr. took the meeting with the Russian attorney knowing that:
- He expected to receive information that would hurt the Hillary campaign while helping his father’s campaign, and
- that the information was coming from Russian citizens.
Donald Trump once famously said that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and he wouldn’t lose any voters. Unfortunately, it is true for at least 30-40% of the U.S. population that believes in Donald Trump. No matter what evidence exists, they will continue to believe in the Trump mantra.
These latest facts are unlikely to sway diehard Trump voters.
However, the continued drip, drip about the Russian affair is hampering the Trump agenda. The more information that leaks out, the less likely Trump’s administration will be able to function and the more likely some of his surrogates may be in legal jeopardy.