Let’s get this clear (NYT).
President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.
But, to the team’s apparent disappointment, the Russians were not handing over any such information. I have bolded the words “before agreeing”
In other words, “I met with the dealer because they promised me get drugs, but they did not have any.”
There are lots of appropriate ways of responding to such an approach, including calling in the FBI, maybe altering you opponents, maybe ignoring it, or responding that any such meeting or transfer would be inappropriate and a possible crime. But going to the meeting without any protective cover — apparently without even a memorialization of the invite and its context, leaves me breathless.
Bottom line: “We wanted to collude, but were not able to.” That admission will give far greater credibility to additional evidence of actual collusion, whether out of this meeting or others.
In any other context, this story alone would upend US politics, lead to a major investigation, and immediate doubt of the truthfulness of the denial of Trump senior’s knowledge. Let’s hope we are not too numb.