Monday, 6 August 2018

Donald Trump is twisting himself in knots looking to provide an explanation for the Trump Tower assembly

On Sunday morning, amid his trendy tweetstorm about the continued unique recommend investigation into Russian interference within the 2016 election, President Donald Trump turned his awareness to the now-infamous June 2016 assembly among his top advisers and numerous Russians.

here's what he stated:
"faux news reporting, a whole fabrication, that i'm involved approximately the assembly my high-quality son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This turned into a meeting to get facts on an opponent, completely prison and executed all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not realize approximately it!"
And Trump's attorneys grimace.
CNN's Chris Cillizza cuts via the political spin and tells you what you want to understand. by subscribing, you compromise to our privateness policy.





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here's why. The timeline of this June 2016 assembly at Trump Tower -- that we recognise approximately -- is going like this:
1. The ny instances reports approximately the meeting -- among, among others, Donald Trump Jr. and Russian legal professional Natalia Veselnitskaya -- on July 8. Trump Jr. gives the instances a announcement approximately the meeting that reads: "It was a short introductory assembly. I requested Jared (Kushner) and Paul (Manafort) to forestall by way of. We more often than not discussed a software about the adoption of Russian youngsters that turned into active and famous with American households years ago and become in view that ended by the Russian government, however it turned into now not a campaign difficulty on the time and there was no follow up."
2. On July nine -- the following day! -- the instances reviews that Trump Jr. became promised dust on Hillary Clinton prior to the assembly. In subsequent days, Trump Jr. releases his email exchanges with song publicist Rob Goldstone -- a liaison for a wealthy Russian named Aras Agalarov and his pop megastar son Emin -- wherein Goldstone makes very clean that the Russians have dirt on Clinton and want Trump's marketing campaign to have it.
3. Donald Trump denies knowledge of the state of affairs in the moment, such as the initial declaration given to the instances that by no means stated the promise of dirt on Clinton. however final month, we discovered that manner again in January his legal professionals mentioned to special counsel Robert Mueller that no longer only did Trump realize approximately Don Jr.'s preliminary assertion however he dictated that announcement himself.
"you've got obtained all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President dictated a quick however accurate response to the the big apple times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.," the letter to Mueller reads. "His son then accompanied up by means of creating a complete public disclosure regarding the meeting, which include his public testimony that there has been nothing to the assembly and genuinely no evidence of collusion."
Which deliver us to the Sunday morning tweet and this line mainly: "This became a meeting to get information on an opponent."


So. We realize that Trump dictated the preliminary Don Jr. statement. And we know that declaration stated that "we commonly discussed a program approximately the adoption of Russian youngsters that became lively and famous with American households years ago." And we recognize that announcement didn't say that the initial impetus for the meeting turned into the promise from the Russians of dirt on Clinton.




but now Trump is pronouncing that the assembly become designed "to get information on an opponent." that is it? changed into it the initial announcement he dictated to the instances on behalf of Don Jr. that made clear the meeting turned into approximately adoptions? Or is it what he is announcing now -- that the assembly was aimed at accumulating terrible records about Clinton?
And this bit, "completely legal and performed all of the time in politics" is some thing else. A assembly he denies knowing about earlier, and to begin with crafted a misleading statement approximately, become perfectly prison anyway!
Did Trump know then what the genesis of the meeting turned into? (Michael Cohen, Trump's private attorney and fixer, is suggesting his boss surely knew approximately the meeting earlier, which Trump and Trump Jr. deny.) If Trump did realize why the assembly turned into taking place -- either before it occurred or after the instances determined out and he asked Don Jr. about it -- then why could he dictate a declaration that by no means mentioned that the entire reason the assembly came about become his facet's expectation that they could get dust on Clinton? If Trump actually idea the assembly become about Russian adoptions, then why did he placed out a tweet today pronouncing it changed into approximately getting data on an opponent?
The factor is that there are no properly solutions for Trump right here. His tweet on Sunday casts doubt at the testimonies he and Don Jr. first of all advised -- and the ones they may be telling now. And the bigger problem here is that this isn't always a one-off: Trump, his son and the complete Trump operation have struggled to inform the full truth -- or maybe near -- a gaggle of instances now with regards to the Russia investigation. Why? perhaps Mueller knows.