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Column: On The Record Source: A Trump/Russia Meeting

The Trickle Down

The Trickle Down is Salute Magazine’s  weekly column by Political Writer Amanda Godula.  The Trickle Down is a weekly look into what’s need-to-know, fresh takes on trends, and the inevitable controversies from the political arena.  Let’s dig in and see what’s happening this week: On The Record Source: A Trump/Russia Meeting.

Thanks to savvy reporting by the New York Times, we now know that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with a Russian attorney with ties to the Kremlin.  The lure was a promise of damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

This meeting was not disclosed, nor was it truthfully explained by Donald Trump Jr. originally.  He claimed it was about adoption, but later on July 11, he released emails regarding the initial meeting set-up.

Donald Trump Jr. claimed the attorney offered “no meaningful information”.

This is significant because we have a firsthand, on the record admission of meeting with Russians by advisers in the Trump campaign about oppositional information to Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.  It is not an anonymous source.  It’s the President’s son.

Donald Trump Jr.’s admission disputes the President’s own claims.

The President has continually rebuffed the idea of his advisers having meetings with Russia during the election process.  Except for “General Flynn, obviously he was dealing.  That’s one person.”

When pressed by the same reporter if advisers in his campaign had contact with Russia during the election, Trump responds, “Nobody that I know of.”

We now know that senior members of the Trump campaign did meet with Russians.

And Trump’s eldest son admits he “probably met with other people from Russia,” but not necessarily in formal meetings, in an interview with Sean Hannity.

So, Donald Trump Jr. may not have colluded – but was his intention to collude?  What we know is he, Kushner, and Manafort met with a foreign government with the intention to gather information to win the election.  This meeting was not disclosed.  What about the other probable contacts?

Not disclosing of Russian dealings is a seemingly common occurrence within the Trump Administration.  There’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Senior Adviser Jared Kushner (again), and former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort (pro-Russian foreign agent forgotten disclosure).  Reuters reports that there were 18 instances of undisclosed contacts with Russia in May 2017.

Does it matter that no meaningful information was passed along?  What about disclosure?  Or the lying?

What Donald Trump Jr. did for the sake of transparency now gives us a chance to explore it.  CNN reports the Department of Justice will be investigating the meeting and emails.

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