There was no meeting. Except there was. It was just about adoptions. Except it wasn’t. Junior didn’t know the people involved. Except the family friends and business partners.
It wasn’t as if the whole meeting was introduced as just one part of a high-level Russian government effort to assist Donald Trump in securing the White House through illegal means. Except, that’s exactly how it was pitched, and how it was joyfully received.
Donald Trump didn’t know about the meeting until … when did Donald Trump know about the meeting?
THE PRESIDENT: Don is -- as many of you know Don -- he's a good boy. He's a good kid. And he had a meeting, nothing happened with the meeting. It was a short meeting as he told me -- because I only heard about it two or three days ago.
That “good boy” is a 39-year-old millionaire with five children of his own who travels the world to kill exotic animals for sport. But putting that aside, Trump on Thursday said he only learned about the meeting “two or three days ago,” meaning on July 10, at the earliest. The same day that the story broke into wide coverage. Except … that doesn’t fit.
President Donald Trump’s stated timeline of when he learned about the meeting his eldest son attended as part of an explicit Russian government effort to deliver information that would help his campaign makes little sense and conflicts with reporting about when he was first notified about the meeting.
Everything about that meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has turned out to be a lie, and Trump’s timeline is clearly one of them.
Trump has already admitted that the “first time” he was notified about the meeting, was not actually the first time.
Trump conceded that he actually may have been told about the meeting with the Kremlin-linked lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, at some point between when the meeting happened last year and when reports about it appeared in the New York Times over the weekend.
But Trump says he wasn’t told the meeting was about gathering dirt on Hillary and, presumably, not that it was part of the big Russian government Donald Trump support effort. Still, there are nagging issues. Not only were there all those odd "coincidences" …
Literally minutes after Trump Jr. ends that meeting, Trump Sr. issued his first tweet challenging Hillary Clinton to produce her “missing emails.” And even before that, on the day that Trump Jr. first agreed to the meeting in which he’s been promised information on Hillary Clinton’s dealings with the Russians, there’s another example of timing that seems way, way too pat.
That was the day that Trump announced he would soon be giving a speech to deliver new and surprising information about Hillary.
Whether Trump knew the truth from the start isn’t yet clear, but the “two or three days ago” response is nothing short of ridiculous.
That breaks sharply with what the Times has reported. In the newspaper’s telling, Trump himself signed off on a Saturday statement that his own aides crafted aboard Air Force One on the way back from the G20 summit and was included in the first article about on the meeting. After debating how forthcoming to be, Trump’s advisers ultimately released a statement that made no mention of the promised dirt on Clinton and said the meeting focused on a stalled program that allowed U.S. citizens to adopt Russian children.
So Trump not only knew at least by July 8, he was actively involved in shaping a cover-up for the true nature of what was discussed.
And that’s not even close to the final word on the timeline.
President Trump’s legal team was informed more than three weeks ago about the email chain arranging a June 2016 meeting between his son Donald Jr. and a Kremlin-connected lawyer, two sources familiar with the handling of the matter told Yahoo News.
Trump’s lawyers knew by June 15, not just that the meeting was out there, but they had the whole chain of information including those that stated baldly that this was a Russian government effort to give information to Trump that could be used against Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump’s “surprise” about the meeting is just another lie in a long, long series of lies.
And those lies haven’t ended. Trump and Trump Jr. are still insisting that this meeting wasn’t important and “didn’t go anywhere.” Until the next shoe drops.