Another 'so what' exposes from the NY Times on the Trump campaign
Many journalists reacted breathlessly to a New York Times report on Sunday revealing that President Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian lawyer who indicated she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.This story only reinforces my earlier opinion about the "meeting" with the Russian lawyer. It was a big so what. While many on the left are desperate to criminalize any campaign that results in their defeat, this attempt looks ridiculous. The lawyer did not represent the Russian government, to begin with, and she had her own agenda which she evidently misrepresented in order to get the meeting. The meeting turned out to have nothing to do with the campaign.
Donald Jr. admitted to the June 2016 meeting — to which he brought campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump adviser Jared Kushner — but downplayed its significance. “Obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent,” he wrote on Twitter Monday morning, adding that the meeting “went nowhere” but that he “had to listen.”
Many Trump critics claimed that the NYT report supported the theory that members of the Trump campaign were somehow involved in the Russian government’s hacking of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
But Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort’s lone meeting with the Russian lawyer pales when compared to the coordination between Clinton allies and Ukrainian government officials who hoped to see Clinton win the 2016 election.
Politico revealed in January some of the Ukrainian government’s anti-Trump activities during the election.
A veteran DNC operative who previously worked in the Clinton White House, Alexandra Chalupa, worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists from both Ukraine and America to dig up Russia-related opposition research on Trump and Manafort. She also shared her anti-Trump research with both the DNC and the Clinton campaign, according to the Politico report.
Chalupa met with Ukrainian ambassador Valeriy Chaly and one of his aides, Oksara Shulyar, at the Ukrainian Embassy in March 2016 to talk about unearthing Paul Manafort’s Russian connections, Chalupa admitted to Politico. Four days later, Trump officially hired Manafort.
“The day after Manafort’s hiring was revealed, she briefed the DNC’s communications staff on Manafort, Trump and their ties to Russia, according to an operative familiar with the situation,” Politico reported.