Patterico's Pontifications


Let’s Go on Record

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

Here’s where the Russia story seems to be right now.

Paul Manafort, Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner meet with a lawyer who was connected to the Kremlin. The lawyer is pushing a key Kremlin priority: repeal of the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which targets human rights abusers. (The Kremlin usually phrases its opposition to the act in terms of adoption, because Putin responded to passage of the act by putting a stop to adoptions of Russian children by Americans.)

Trump Jr. tells the New York Times over the weekend that he and the others were meeting with the lawyer to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. This contradicts several previous statements he has made.

Trump Jr. says he didn’t know with whom he was meeting. Do three people this important meet with a “random human”? Ben Shapiro asks.

It’s a good question. Paul Manafort is well connected in Russia. He has lobbied for Viktor Yanukovych, then a pro-Russian Ukranian president. Does Manafort know who’s who in Moscow? You betcha!

This is context we should not pretend into nonexistence.

There’s plenty we don’t know. What I’m interested in now is the beginning of the meme among Trump supporters that collusion with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton would have been A-OK. So far, the line has been: “There’s no evidence of collusion!” and to be sure, no collusion seems to have been proved. But now that we’re getting, if not proof of collusion, at least direct contact between a Kremlin-connected lawyer by Trump campaign officials regarding dirt on Hillary, I’d like to talk about what folks here would find acceptable if collusion were proved.

I’m not saying this has been proved. I’m asking hypothetically.

Is it your view that if Donald Trump or his campaign directly colluded with agents of Vladimir Putin to obtain information on Hillary Clinton, that would be OK? Is there anything Trump could have done with Putin that you would consider over the line?

I keep reading that “collusion” is not illegal, and frankly I don’t know and have not looked into it. I’ll assume until proven otherwise that it’s legal. I’m not sure whether the American people would cotton to direct collusion with Putin to defeat Hillary, but I’m not so sure about the American people any more.

My son turned completely on Hillary when he found out how she cheated by getting debate questions in advance. It’s not illegal. But it really bothered him because it seemed to him to be wrong. (And it was!)

I wonder if people feel the same about collusion with the Russian government.

So let’s go on record. What would you tolerate, if it were proven true?

P.S. Don’t be very surprised if I don’t respond to your comment. Comments these days strike me as a poor use of my time. If it’s important, you can email me. If I find your comment very significant, I may use it in a future post.

To save myself some grief, I am going to restate in bold: I am not saying or suggesting that any collusion has been proven. Why am I saying that twice and putting it in bold? Because lately, I am used to having my posts misrepresented in the comments. If you claim in comments that I am saying collusion has been proven, you are a liar. You can go perform sexual acts on yourself with various sharp and rusty metal objects.

I am not going to come into the comments to repeat what I just said in bold. Repeatedly typing: “That’s not what I said” is a giant waste of my time. I am just going to take note of who misrepresents my posts — and they might suddenly disappear from the comments, much the way Latin American dictators used to disappear people back in what dictator-lover Donald Trump considers the good old days. Only this disappearance would just be from the comment section.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back — where I might appear in comments.]

77 Responses to “Let’s Go on Record”

  1. does corrupt FBI turdboy Robert Mueller really need to “prove” anything per se?

    he’s looking for process crimes not actual illegal activity

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  2. Do three people this important meet with a “random human” in Moscow?

    It wasn’t in Moscow. It was in Trump Tower, which was whee the campaighn headquarters was located.

    The story, as it stands now, is that Donald Trump Jr. was told by someone (who is connected to Fusion GPS, which was maybe being paid u Russia but also by someone anti-Trump, that there was someone who e3anted to see him who would tell bad things about Hillllary Clinton.. He was told nothing abouyt them being a Russian, or for that matter, that the information came from illegal hacking. Donald Trump Jr says nothing was told to them and here was just a 20-minute meeting about adoptions from Russia, which hadn’t been a campaign issue that Doald Trump had talked about..

    This was on Thursday, June 9, 2016. They keep on saying this was two weeks after Donald Trump clinched the nomination, but he was regarded as the presumptive nominee of May 3 (the Day of the Indiana primary, afetr which Ted Cruz dropped out) or May 4 (when Kasich dropped out. That’s five weeks and a day or two.

    The hacking of the DNC had not yet been announced.

    That happened on Tuesday, June 14, or maybe Monday the 13th:

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  3. My son turned completely on Hillary when he found out how she cheated by getting debate questions in advance. It’s not illegal. But it really bothered him because it seemed to him to be wrong. (And it was!)”

    After everything the crime matriarch did for over two decades that did the trick eh?

    And this thing about posting about reactions to hypotheticals is truly fascinating…….

    …..but no one will doubt your conviction.

    “You can go perform sexual acts on yourself with various sharp and rusty metal objects”……

    ……I am just going to take note of who misrepresents my posts — and they might suddenly disappear from the comments, much the way Latin American dictators used to disappear people back in what dictator-lover Donald Trump considers the good old days.

    No way to misrepresent that!

    harkin (7833f6)

  4. “No way to misrepresent that!”

    Bumping off a comment equates to assassination. Both sides do it!

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  5. If there was collusion, this was the tip of the iceberg. But it looks like really, what you see is the entire iceberg. If there was an intention to share real derogatory infromation, Natalia Veselnitskaya got scared of by the presence of too many people from the Trump camapaign, butprobably it was just lies.

    In his second atatement, Donald Trump Jr. said that she claimed that “she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

    Then she turned the conversartion to the adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act.

    “It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.”

    According to the New Yr\ork times;s sources, the meeting was se up by Rob Goldstone, “a former British tabloid journalist and the president of a company called Oui 2 Entertainment who has worked with the Miss Universe pageant.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  6. Putin/Trump share a fantasy of controlling information and their methods don’t differ all that much. Can any offer respectful Trumptones for the 1st Amendment.?

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  7. More about how the meeting occurred:

    Late Saturday, Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer, issued a statement implying that the meeting was a setup. Ms. Veselnitskaya and the translator who accompanied her to the meeting “misrepresented who they were,” it said.

    In an interview, Mr. Corallo explained that Ms. Veselnitskaya, in her anti-Magnitsky campaign, employs a private investigator whose firm, Fusion GPS, produced an intelligence dossier that contained unproven allegations against the president. In a statement, the firm said, “Fusion GPS learned about this meeting from news reports and had no prior knowledge of it. Any claim that Fusion GPS arranged or facilitated this meeting in any way is false.”

    That denial seems very logical.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  8. Interesting question. I don’t have a high opinion of Trump anyway, so I’m not likely to view him lower because of collusion. I think your question turns on it being Putin and Russia, especially given Putin’s dictatorial nature and assassination of critics and rivals.

    For instance, would it be problematic if the theoretical collusion occurred with Canadian contacts? Or, perhaps more realistic, Israeli agents? I mean, after the undermining of Israel that occurred with Obama, I could see Israel desperate to avoid having those policies extended or worse under Hillary. While there would be some sniping if Israel had been the source of collusion, I don’t think the unease would be as bad.

    So, I think the real issue is that collusion would have happened with Russia, which is essentially a mafia state, and that Trump’s posture and attitude is towards Russia is more one of admiration and respect than of wariness and caution. The POTUS loves demonstrations of power, and no matter how horribly the Russian people fare, the hierarchy of Russia is very dominant.

    Is there anything that would be over the line? I guess it would depend on illegal acts. Politics ain’t beanbags, as it was said in Chicago. Every national campaign has oppo smear machines, and who knows whether all of their sources are domestic and legal. Few campaigns allow senior managers to meet with foreign agents, though (for optics, if anything), and to me, that shows the continued unprofessionalism of the Trump empire. He’s in over his head.

    Virginia SoCon (8eb3c5)

  9. if the CNN NYT Wapo fake news propaganda sluts weren’t hands-off-look-the-other-way when it came to investigating lying criminal stinkypig Hillary Clinton, and instead scrutinized her with the vigor with which they scrutinized President Trump, it would be really, really hard to imagine there being a large untapped well of information damaging to her

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  10. Donald Trump Jr said he was the only person who was told that derogatory information would be offered at the meeting. (He also said that nothing she said – vague statemenbts about Russians financing the DNC and Hillary’s campaign – was credible.)

    This is much better than was the case with George HW Bush who, in 1992, turned away any derogatory information about Bill Clinton.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  11. 2 – Sammy:

    “Do three people this important meet with a “random human” in Moscow?”

    I respect your posts very much and I think this “story” is another Trump/Russia nothing burger…..

    …but why the need to add “in Moscow”? It certainly (from two readings) was not stated and I don’t think it was even implied except in the wording about Manafort knowing who’s “who in Moscow” – “you betcha”.

    For all we know Manafort’s expertise in dealing with Russians is the reason this meeting fell apart so quickly. Don’t misrepresent me, I’m not saying that happened and it has not been proven!

    harkin (70fe68)

  12. So what we have is Donny Jr. going to meet someone who he thought had damaging information on Hillary, but no idea of who that person was. That person turned out to have no information, but did want to lobby him about a Russian matter.

    So, unless Donny Jr. is lying about what he knew about this person, no collusion. At the moment there is no reason to suggest he is lying beyond the fact that he is his father’s son.

    But why did the Russian agent want to influence him in the first place? Was this a freelancer trying to impress either Putin or Trump? Or Putin trying to get one more backchannel of influence into place?

    I think we’re getting into Rape of the Lock territory

    What dire offence from am’rous causes springs,
    What mighty contests rise from trivial things,
    I sing—

    kishnevi (2f2588)

  13. I’m not even sure how we are defining “collusion”

    1 – Russian person who may be linked to Putin says, “hey bro, I got some information here that makes Hillary look bad, u want to meet?”
    2 – Trump’s team says, “yeah, let’s meet”
    3 – Trump’s team shows up for a meeting
    4 – Meeting happens and Russian does or does not give useful information about Hillary to Trump’s team

    Is that “collusion”?

    If that is collusion, are we supposed to condemn it?

    If your heart and ears are open to negative information about Hillary Clinton, that’s “collusion”?

    Daryl Herbert (7be116)

  14. OK, here’s my problem with this whole flap; I cannot shake the impression that the entire resistance movement is a desperate attempt by the Democrat establishment to distract their base from the inconvenient fact that they (the establishment) put aside the likely choice of the voters (Sanders, who I also dislike, mind) to give the nomination to a candidate so awful that she could lose to Donald Trump.

    Trump is a clown and a blowhard. He plays hardball, and dirty when he thinks he can get away with it. But Hillary has the morals of a three year old weasel and a record that makes Al Capone look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. For everything Trump has been accused of, there is an accusation against Hillary that we either know damn well is true, or investigation of which was frustrated by Democrat politics.

    Frankly the best possible outcome of the ’16 election would have been “Drop both these vermin from a great hight and start over”, but that wasn’t one of the choices. Trump having been elected, it serves to good purpose to allow his political opponents (who are demonstrably no better) to pull him down with innuendo, conspiracy theorizing, and ‘the process is the punishment’.

    Trump is a jackass. He’ll bring about his own downfall. This smells like bovine end-product and can only blunt the impact of whatever we eventually actually catch Trump doing.

    C. S. P. Schofield (99bd37)

  15. if there were evidence of collusion here you’d think the nyt fake news propaganda sluts might maybe would share it huh

    but they didn’t

    meanwhile snooty harvardtrash poopstain ben sasse takes a break from smirking at n-word jokes to

    oh my goodness

    he’s colluding with saudi-connected uber in a crucial early 2020 primary state!

    oh my goodness ben sasse is colluder!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  16. Excellent comment, Virginia SoCon. Thank you for posting it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. @ Sammy Finkleman,

    The story, as it stands now,

    And that’s a big part of the problem. How many times and how many ways will the administration or Trump Jr. change up the story in the next 24 hour news cycle?

    Dana (023079)


    Paul Mirengoff (PowerLineBlog) has the same reaction I did – campaigns are sposed to gather negative information on their opponents

    He also points out CNN would do desperate things to obtain negative information on a candidate they don’t like; and that if Trump really was colluding with Russia, there would have been a more formal pipeline for this sort of information. This meeting never would have happened.

    So the meeting is not only 100% fair, it’s evidence that there was NO collusion, under any meaningful definition of that term.

    Daryl Herbert (7be116)

  19. if Trump really was colluding with Russia, there would have been a more formal pipeline for this sort of information. This meeting never would have happened.

    this is an excellent comment Mr. Herbert thank you so much for posting this

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  20. and that if Trump really was colluding with Russia, there would have been a more formal pipeline for this sort of information. This meeting never would have happened.

    Nonsense. This is how collusion happens, done where no one can see it (or so the colluders hope). Untraceable, and if traced, utterly deniable.

    Or did you expect the Russian Ambassador to call Trump in person and say “Hey, we’ve got the goods on Hillary!”

    As it stands, I see no evidence of actual collusion, but much evidence suggesting that Russia tried to throw as much bad information and chaos into the mix. The motive, I think, is that Russia wanted to make sure whoever won would be politically hobbled.

    kishnevi (2f2588)

  21. The Trump-resisting media can’t have it both ways. It can’t be the case both that Russia interfering in our election is terrible and that Donald Trump, Jr. should not have listened to claims that Russia was interfering in our election.

    This is so true. What kind of patriot would just walk away from evidence that Russia was trying to subvert our democracy?

    Maybe Ben Sasse would I guess.

    But a son of President Trump? No way in hell. They love America too damn much.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  22. They love America too damn much.

    I heard the Trump family has one of the biggest collections of pictures of Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, and Benjamin Franklin, in the world.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. Don’t forget FDR and Jefferson. Also Kennedy, Sacagawea, Eisenhower, and Susan B. Anthony. Plus whatever Lady Liberties Fred salted away.

    kishnevi (2f2588)

  24. Mirengoff at power line poses a great question:

    The investigation right now is over whether the Russians assisted or collided with the Trump campaign to defeat Clinton.

    The information being offered to the Trump campaign in June 2016 was that Russians were funneling money to The DNC and Clinton.

    These are the same clintons who were the benefiaries of a ton of Chinese money in 1992 and 1996.

    But it’s improper for Trump officials to meet with the person claiming to have such bombshell info?

    Reverse the roles, and say the allegation of Russian funding actually became public in June 2016 , I.e., that Trump was receiving campaign funds from Russian sources? Big story or yawner?

    Obviously a big story so why is it surprising that Trump campaign officials would want to hear of any such info?

    The reaction without thinking through the facts is pure TDS.

    Shipwreckedcrew (d296aa)

  25. No, let’s instead ask the commentariat what it would take to establish aiding and abetting pedophilia by Trump “or his campaign.” Totally hypothetically!!! You see, we need to CEMENT the association between Trump and some bad word in the public’s mind by obsessively pursuing evidence of it by every means possible. Maybe even a special prosecutor! Oh, we got that already???

    Pedophilia is better than treason-collusion, because the Supreme Court has ruled that molesting kids isn’t punishable by death. Let’s take Trump’s execution off the table, except for publicly funded representations of it. As an incentive, you can define “or his campaign” to include anyone who supported, voted for, or even saw Trump on TV. That would include Putin himself!

    Proud Prolifer (8d9ee7)

  26. Because the Russians are altruists and love the American democratic process and would not want to see Hillary win by foul means.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. A little more details


    narciso (d1f714)

  28. Second problem.

    The timeline established by this meeting — ASSUMING the lawyer was acting on behalf of Russian intelligence — means that there was certainly no “collusion”, however defined, prior to this approach. If there was something already in place, such as with Flynn or Manafort or Stone, then there would have been no need to send this lawyer at Trump Jr.

    And she clearly wasn’t KGB or Russian intelligence herself. That would be far too risky and they would not expose an actual operative to possible compromise on this kind of first approach. More likely, IF she was a proxy or cutout, she would have introduced someone at a later meeting who would have claimed to actually have the material in question, and that person would have likely been an actual intelligence operative.

    But the fact that she wasn’t able to “sell” the actual existence of the material with a good cover story suggests to me this wasn’t a planned Russian intelligence operation at all. If it had been she would have been better prepared with a more convincing story about the info she claimed to have.

    Shipwreckedcrew (d296aa)

  29. Gutfeld explains:

    1. media demands trump ask putin about meddling
    2. trump asks putin about meddling
    3. media mocks trump for asking about meddling
    4. repeat

    Replace “media” with “nevertrump” and you have the same summary regarding the weekend here at Patterico.

    ONCE again: Russian “Meddling” has been hackers releasing truthful information regarding the D party and their Candidate – most of which we already knew (or had inferred from living in the real world). The Russians simply confirmed that (1) Hillary feloniously mishandled government secrets and (2) the DNC defrauded their own party in order to foist Hillary on them as their Candidate.

    So, all the wailing about Russian interference is that the Russians were dealing in truthful dirt.

    Steven Malynn (d29fc3)

  30. So, all the wailing about Russian interference is that the Russians were dealing in truthful dirt.

    truthful dirt about issues the cnn nyt fake news propaganda sluts had no interest in investigating

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  31. Let’s get what all this Russia stuff is about. It’s not whether certain mythical Marquis of Queensbury lines were crossed. It is whether there is a quid pro quo between Trump and Putin. Collusion suggests a quid pro quo, because Putin is the type who would expect something for efforts he made on the basis of a request from Trump. To use words beloved by those who put alt in front of their right, collusion suggests Treason, and the ultimate cuck-ing of America. It doesn’t prove it. But it suggests it.

    It’s easy to lose track of the big picture when we focus too narrowly on the small one. Things like this somewhat confused meeting by DJT, Jr. aren’t going to register with the public. Big picture wtfs, like the joint cybersecurity proposal that came and went, make the suspicion of corruption and a President who does not represent America’s best interests, make an impact on what we the people think.

    Appalled (96665e)

  32. 17 Dana – “And that’s a big part of the problem. How many times and how many ways will the administration or Trump Jr. change up the story in the next 24 hour news cycle?”

    This problem is microscopic compared to the accusations of Trump collusion going back to last year and which so far have yielded……zilch…..proof, but have been the main topic of the Never Trump Resistance for far too long.

    24 swc – “The information being offered to the Trump campaign in June 2016 was that Russians were funneling money to The DNC and Clinton.

    These are the same clintons who were the benefiaries of a ton of Chinese money in 1992 and 1996″.

    They tried very hard to give the Chinese control of the Port Of Long Beach too (one of the rare instances where The Audubon Society and Rush Limbaugh fought on the same side).

    And oh yeah they’re also the same Clintons who assisted Russians in gaining control of a sizable portion US uranium.

    As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

    And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

    harkin (70fe68)

  33. I still remember when people claimed Trump was a Clinton plant who was in the Republican primary to throw the election to Hillary.

    Those were good times. Much simpler.

    Locke (6de925)

  34. Bill Clinton has cozied up to plenty of Russian Oligarchs in the last 15 years. On my phone s its tough to assemble the info.

    Shipwreckedcrew (d296aa)

  35. “Character matters. @realDonaldTrump is obviously not going to win,” Mr. Sasse said on Twitter. “But he can still make an honorable move: Step aside & let Mike Pence try.”


    happyfeet (28a91b)

  36. Molehill -> mountain.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  37. It’s not that I see this as ethical or legal or even a good idea. I just don’t give a flying frack about any of this. Given the threshold of scandal that the Democrats employ for their side, none of this rises to back-page mention.

    To recap:
    Benghazi: nothingburger
    Fast & Furious: nothingburger
    IRS harassment of the right: less-than-nothingburger
    Corrupt use of FISA warrants: *crickets*

    So, why should I give a sh1t about some advisers meeting with a lawyer “connected with the Russians”? Bernie Sanders loved Castro ad Chavez and honeymooned in Brezhnev’s Soviet Union. WHy don’t we hear more about that?


    Kevin M (752a26)

  38. Then again, I don’t despise Trump. He’s not my cup of tea, but he beats the doors off the last guy in the office. Incompetent and right is better than incompetent and wrong.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  39. Lets agree to quit using euphemisms here in place of facts.

    The Russian lawyer didn’t offer “information damaging to Clinton’s campaign” – she offered information showing that Clinton was receiving campaign money from Russia.

    Someone explain why it was wrong for the Trump campaign to want that info if it existed and was true.

    Shipwreckedcrew (d296aa)

  40. Assuming the veracity of the information and that collusion is legal, I would say yes, it’s OK. If the tables were turned and Hillary colluded with Castro’s regime in digging up dirt on Trump, I would want to know every sordid detail. Does that make me unprincipled and unethical? I don’t think so, everyone who gets in the game knows the rules, or lack thereof.

    I can think of a million ways Trump could cross the line with Putin, and maybe he already has. Be nice to get some proof —- with the NSA vacuuming up every text, email, and phone call on the planet, I’m surprised we haven’t seen it already.

    Lenny (5ea732)

  41. VOX

    “Reporters Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman said the story was based on accounts from “three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.” Here’s why that sourcing is intriguing.

    First, the fact that these are White House advisers makes this story’s sourcing appear to differ from many other Trump/Russia investigation-related stories, which often seem to have been leaked from Congress or from law enforcement or intelligence agencies.

    Second, these sources were apparently okay with being identified as White House advisers rather than demanding a more vague attribution to better hide their identities, such as “US officials.” That seems to suggest a strategic leak.

    Third, there’s the number — this isn’t just one White House adviser, it’s coming from three. Again, that suggests a coordinated leak. It’s rare that three separate White House advisers would separately go rogue to leak about something, especially something that appears to be damaging information about the president’s son.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  42. “Does that make me unprincipled and unethical?”

    Consistent and bipartisan…lets not expect reciprocity.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  43. OH NOES!!!!

    “Paging The Special Counsel!

    As Special Counsel Mueller looks high and low for crimes associated with Trump’s alleged Russian collusion he might want to peek at this:

    Comey’s private memos on Trump conversations contained classified material

    Ooops! But nevermind. I am confident that unified Republican/Democratic/Washington establishment will distinguish between minor crimes committed in the pursuit of the Greater Good and REAL CRIMES, such as anything at all they can stick on Trump.

    In fact, I think the vigorous deposition of Comey by Team Mueller was filmed back in 1939.

    Posted by Tom Maguire on July 10, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (4)

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  44. 38. – “Then again, I don’t despise Trump. He’s not my cup of tea, but he beats the doors off the last guy in the office. Incompetent and right is better than incompetent and wrong.”

    I don’t even despise Obama. He was a complete disaster, dishonest, anti-western values and anti-rule of law but hate is something that IMO only damages the hater and everyone around him/her willing to buy in.

    You can see the hate everywhere, from the MSM to the Antifa nitwits to even some right-leaning columnists and blogs and in every instance I’ve yet to see anything helpful or constructive being expressed…….just hate, delusion, move on, hate, delusion, move on.

    harkin (70fe68)

  45. As Sammy Finkleman pointed out, you’re leaving out the intermediary here.

    A friend of Don Jr. set up the meeting between him and someone that had dirt on the Hillary campaign, without telling him who that person was. Don Jr. invites Kushner and Manafort to come to a meeting held in the office building where they were all working.

    Don Jr., in this story, is a trusting dupe that thought he was being helped by a friend. But he’s not so trusting as to bite on some vague rumor about Hillary taking millions of dollars in illegal campaign donations from Russian nationals.

    What will it take for Trump supporters get angry about Trump colluding with Russia? They will never get angry about things done by Russia. They could broadcast video footage of Putin himself in Wisconsin, personally holding a gun to the head of Hillary voters to get them to change their votes. Trump supporters will shrug their shoulders and say that Putin is a nice fella. Trump would have to make a severe blunder, like giving North American Uranium reserves to Russia before any of his supporters to get angry about Russian collusion.

    Xmas (3a75bb)

  46. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is calling for the Senate Intelligence Committee to interview Donald Trump Jr. over a meeting he held with a Russian lawyer who promised to provide compromising information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential contest.

    lobsterpot Republican Main Street bimbo thinks she’s all investigative girl senator now

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  47. Virginia SoCon: I could follow your argument until “Few campaigns allow senior managers to meet with foreign agents, though (for optics, if anything), and to me, that shows the continued unprofessionalism of the Trump empire.” which is two non sequiturs bolted together to mean nothing.

    Few campaigns? What’s that mean? How many? Which ones? Why do some allow it? What are their reasons for allowing it? Are those reasons good or bad? What evidence do you have about the few and what they do? What evidence do you have about the many and what they do?

    Why should Trump follow the practices of what you believe are the majority? Let me add appeal to authority as an other fault in your reasoning. Trump won by declaring the practices of the majority of Republican candidates to be wrong. He won and ipso facto, he was correct.

    The continued unprofessionalism? What code of professionalism did you point to earlier in your argument? Where is it written down? I repeat, Trump has operated on the stated premise that any codes of “professionalism” his opponents in the Republican Party endorsed and those of the Democrats were nonsensical bogus bunkum which never in fact existed.

    And I agree with him. The left managed to convince the right, and the Republicans, not necessarily the same thing, to hobble themselves with a series of stupid ideas and rules which the left claimed were moral, but were not, and claimed to follow, but did not.

    Fred Z (52fffc)

  48. What will it take for Trump supporters get angry about Trump colluding with Russia?”

    Actual collusion with Russia might do it.

    Months and months of breathless revelations that lead nowhere is really only something you can use to pummel yourself.

    harkin (70fe68)

  49. The crud is creeping up the WH lawn.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  50. “Actual collusion with Russia might do it.”

    And when collusion is established?


    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  51. “Collusion” implies, by definition, not only that an agreement is secret, but that it’s for a harmful, and perhaps unlawful (civil & criminal), purpose.

    Perhaps the hypothetical could be phrased, then, in terms of “secret cooperation” if you want to probe the question of how Trump supporters would react to proof (entirely hypothetical at this juncture) of cooperation that was neither public, nor for a harmful (perhaps unlawful) purpose.

    I think you’re intending to ask more about ethical than legal perceptions here, even hypothetically.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  52. Ben Bradlee: You know the results of the latest Gallup Poll? Half the country never even heard of the word Watergate. Nobody gives a shit. You guys are probably pretty tired, right? Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up… 15 minutes. Then get your asses back in gear. We’re under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing’s riding on this except the, uh, first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys fuck up again, I’m going to get mad. Goodnight.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  53. I say we run a GoFundMe page to get the Norks to nuke DC

    John M Baker (fda9dc)

  54. who approved Natalia Veselnitskaya’s visa for entry? she was denied entry and only approved under parole entry status–whose state department did this?

    jaded (72d186)

  55. Beldar:

    Assuming that Russian intelligence and the Trump campaign knowingly established an informal information sharing arrangement involving something other than published literature, that would, by definition be harmful, and probably illegal as an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign.

    What we don’t really have yet is any idea whether the Trump people, in their meetings, knew or should have known the people they were talking to were affiliated with the Kremlin. What would interest me, as a matter of law, would be to understand if DJT Jr. actually received um, “actionalble intelligence” from the Russian lawyer, and used it, would he in trouble, even if he (and his colleagues) had no idea she was Putin’s instrument.

    Hm. Seems like I am looking for leagal advice for free. That may be a little unreasonable.

    Appalled (96665e)

  56. Would you tolerate it if it were true?

    No. Who would? But then, let’s be “perfectly clear” – plenty of chicanery has been rationalized and justified in the minds of campaign operatives, presidents and their staff; from trading arms for hostages to burglarizing a psychiatrist’s office, to a break-in at you-know-where.

    “…they followed people, planted false press leaks, passed fake letters… they planted spies, they stole documents… and now don’t tell me that all of this was the work of little Don Segretti.” – Deep Throat [Hal Holbrook] ‘All The President’s Men’ 1976


    Today’s Beldar The Bitter ‘Watergate, Watergate, Watergate’ Words Of Wonder:

    “I know however, in that conversation, the question was raised of blackmail– I know, however, that in that conver–, I also raised the question of how much it is going to, would cost…” – President Nixon discussing the Watergate cover-up options with John Ehrlichman, secret White House Oval Office tapes, April 25, 1973

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. Perfect example of the karma of alternate facts. Slavish supporters of Dystrumpya like the Federalist will find their ‘thoughtful’ analyses dismissed out of hand without a backward glance.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  58. We’re going to need more tin foil.

    Reynolds Rapp (7fb3a4)

  59. What’s the difference between tactics and strategy?

    “As a candidate, Trump relied on suggestions from two establishment conservative groups, the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, to assemble a list of 21 potential high court picks. Gorsuch was on their list. Now Trump is pulling from the same compilation for his lower-court choices. One example is Allison Eid, whom Trump has nominated for the vacancy created by Gorsuch’s departure from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver. A member of the Colorado Supreme Court, Eid previously served as the state’s solicitor general and as a law clerk to the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing elder, Justice Clarence Thomas.

    Conservatives applauded Eid’s selection in June, as well as those of 10 other lawyers, judges and scholars. “It’s a fantastic list,” Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the right-leaning Judicial Crisis Network, said in a post on the National Review’s Bench Memos blog. “Many of the nominees are well known in the conservative legal movement.” Trump so far has nominated 15 people to the lower courts, including Stephanos Bibas, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who clerked for the Supreme Court’s swing vote, Anthony Kennedy, and has argued several cases before the justices. Bibas is up for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. Professor Amy Coney Barrett of the University of Notre Dame, who previously clerked for Scalia, was nominated for a seat on the the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  60. Tweet from the President of Poland.

    “Andrzej Duda @AndrzejDuda

    Contrary to some surprising reports my wife did shake hands with Mrs. and Mr. Trump @POTUS after a great visit. Let’s FIGHT FAKE NEWS.

    Please someone tell me he’s not a murderous dictator!

    harkin (7833f6)

  61. I still think Kennedy stiff-armed the Trump arm twister on his retirement this year. Someone must have hog-tied his tweeter for that slap to his manipulative impulses.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  62. I’m puzzled by something. Why would the Russians want to assist Trump? As John McCain said, Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country. It wants high prices for its petroleum and natural gas. Hillary would have been much better for high gas prices. Does anyone think she would have facilitated the Keystone XL pipeline, or made it easier to drill anywhere in the U.S.?

    norcal (2adf03)

  63. Trump has.

    norcal (2adf03)

  64. There’s more to US Russia relations than just oil.

    kishnevi (2f2613)

  65. the Russian collusion meme is just meant to cover for the sleazy corrupt fbi’s illegal spying during the election

    this is why they had to appoint a corrupt ivy league trash fbi turdboy as special counsel (Tobert Mueller)

    trashy fbi gonna be trashy

    and yeah

    you sleazy fbi turdboys out in the field offices

    you think you get a pass

    you’re all corrupt trash and by the end of this comey-instigated fiasco

    everyone’s gonna know exactly how trashy a person has to be to wear that p.o.s. fbi badge

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  66. oopers *Robert Mueller* (corrupt ivy league trash fbi turdboy)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  67. Thanks for providing an opening in the middle,Patterico. Some 1st Amendment advocates actually practice what they preach. Cheers.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  68. Jonathan Turley has some thoughts

    narciso (82af23)

  69. Harkin:

    despise[ dih-spahyz] verb (used with object) [de·spised, de·spis·ing.]
    1. to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.

    All of those things regarding Obama. But hate isn’t on the list. I don’t HATE pond scum….

    Kevin M (752a26)

  70. Why would the Russians want to assist Trump?

    Because they wanted a more stable world, and they knew the Hillary/Obama/Kerry foreign policy was verblunget.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  71. verblunget = lost, bewildered, confused, befuddled, perplexed; misguided

    Kevin M (752a26)

  72. I usually transcribe that word as ferblundjet.

    A word with similar meaning is tzedrayteh. (Which comes from the same root as dreidel)

    kishnevi (4aeca3)

  73. Kevin M

    abhor, abominate, hate, detest, execrate, loathe

    Close enough for me but ok.

    harkin (de269f)

  74. Btw Kevin.

    If you re-read my comment I was not saying YOU should not hate Obama because you never said you did.

    But you used the word ‘despise’ (which as you know I equate with ‘hate’) and it prompted me to make a comment about hate in general, which I think more people should heed.

    harkin (de269f)

  75. This rIses a further question, who leaked the email, was it mrs,veselnitskaya, it certainly wasnt don jr or goldstone, was it tait eho waz used as a cut out re gchq or some analyst on this side of the pond.

    narciso (d1f714)

  76. “This rIses a further question, who leaked the email”

    Deep State, they read everything.

    harkin (de269f)

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