Right-wing media figures claim Trump Jr. was part of a “setup made to give the appearance of Russian collusion”

Right-wing media figures claim Trump Jr. was part of a “setup made to give the appearance of Russian collusion”

››› ››› BRENDAN KARET & NINA MAST

Following a series of reports from The New York Times laying out Donald Trump Jr.’s correspondence arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer, right-wing media figures attempted to absolve Donald Trump. Jr. by claiming he was set up by Democratic operatives and a “Russian honey pot” in an attempt to give the appearance of collusion.


Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian lawyer to receive documents he hoped “would incriminate Hillary”

New York Times: “Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said.” Following a series of reports that brought attention to Trump campaign officials and Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer during the campaign, The New York Times published emails that Trump Jr. received promising “very high level and sensitive information” regarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” The Times additionally reported Trump Jr. “replied within minutes,” saying, “If it’s what you say I love it,” and agreed to meet with a “Russian government attorney,” alongside then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner:

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If the future president’s eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Four days later, after a flurry of emails, the intermediary wrote back, proposing a meeting in New York on Thursday with a “Russian government attorney.”

Donald Trump Jr. agreed, adding that he would most likely bring along “Paul Manafort (campaign boss)” and “my brother-in-law,” Jared Kushner, now one of the president’s closest White House advisers. [The New York Times, 7/11/17]

Right-Wing Media figures claim Trump Jr. was part of a “setup made to give the appearance of Russian collusion”

Sean Hannity: Trump's legal team "think that this meeting could have been a setup made to give the appearance of Russian collusion." On the July 10 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity echoed Donald Trump’s legal team, noting, “as President Trump’s legal team pointed out, they think this meeting could have been a setup made to give the appearance of Russian collusion.” Hannity also claimed “the meeting was meaningless,” and asked, “Where’s the collusion?”:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): The lawyer who Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner met with, didn't work for the Russian government at the time of the meeting. And by the way, as Donald Trump Jr. said in an statement, quote, "the woman stated 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 with supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information." She corroborates that.

So in other words, The meeting was meaningless. It did nothing to produce anything. Where's the collision? Not to mention, if this lawyer was such a threat and a Russian agent or a spy, why the Obama Administration let her into this country in 2016? As John Solomon and Sara Carter reported over the weekend, this lawyer was denied a Visa but eventually was allowed into the country, by the way, under President Obama.

And as President Trump's legal team pointed out, they think that this meeting could have been a setup made to give the appearance of Russian collusion and the person responsible for orchestrating all of this -- pay attention you are not going to hear this in the mainstream media -- is connected to Fusion GPS. That is the OP research firm that produced the fake Christopher Steele dossier. Remember the British spy, on Donald Trump. And by the way, as the New York Post has reported, Fusion GPS has several ties to the Democrats, including Clinton allies and even Planned Parenthood. And according to the Washington Times, Christopher Steele said in a court filing that that dossier was never supposed to be made public and that BuzzFeed should never have published it. [Fox News, Hannity, 7/10/17]

Rush Limbaugh on Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer: “The whole thing smacks of a setup.” On the July 11 edition of his radio show, host Rush Limbaugh called Veselnitskaya a “Russian honey pot,” and said, “this whole thing smacks of a setup,” adding, “I think all of this was aimed at getting Trump”:

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): This babe calls Trump Jr. under a false premise, claiming she’s got dope on Hillary Clinton, and they take the meeting because who wouldn’t want to get oppo research on your opponent -- that’s standard operating procedure in political campaigns. And then the woman shows up, “no, no, no, no, no, you misunderstood, I’ve got this Magnitsky Act or something that I want you to do something about.” This whole thing smacks of a setup.

[...]

Nobody got anything out of this meeting. The Russian honey pot didn’t get anything she wanted. The Trump campaign didn’t get anything they thought they were going to get, it’s a big nothing.

[...]

The whole meeting took place under false premises. Nothing changed because of the meeting. Not a single thing changed. In fact, my friends, there is more evidence that this Russian lawyer was working with Fusion GPS to discredit Trump than anything else. That's the same outfit that did the golden showers dossier and that’s why I think there's a similarity. I think all of this was aimed at getting Trump, if you want to know the case. And the way the media is covering it I think proves that. Fusion GPS is the same Fusion GPS who funded the phony Trump dossier which surfaced around this very same time. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 7/11/17]

Daily Caller: Russian lawyer story helps “bring to light for the first time the likely involvement of Democratic operatives in fomenting the Russia-Trump collusion conspiracy.” In a July 10 blog for The Daily Caller, freelance writer Maxwell Anderson spun New York Times reports indicating Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer after being “promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton,” writing, “Of course, the typical figures are suggesting that this ‘proves’ that collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government occurred during the election.” Anderson continued, writing these reports helped “bring to light for the first time the likely involvement of Democratic operatives in fomenting the Russia-Trump collusion conspiracy”:

The DNC refused to disclose that Russia hacked its computer network for a month-and-a-half, and only disclosed that fact after the Fusion GPS-brokered meeting between Don Jr. and Veselnitskaya.

There is another disturbing aspect of this story. Recall that Don Jr., in both of his statements, said he was never told the name of the individual with whom he was meeting. (Neither story even indicates that Don Jr. knew before the meeting that the individual was a Russian national, let alone a Russian lawyer.) This strongly suggests that Fusion GPS was involved in a dirty tricks campaign that sought to question and undermine Trump’s loyalty to the country by portraying him as a having close ties to the Kremlin, a tactic that has emerged as a primary point of opposition to candidate and now President Trump. Particularly troubling is how early the Democratic Party operatives appear to have been conspiring to make the Russia-Trump connection.

These revelations bring to light for the first time the likely involvement of Democratic operatives in fomenting the Russia-Trump collusion conspiracy theory that is now the subject of multiple Federal and Congressional investigations, which have had the (convenient) effect of slowing Trump’s legislative agenda.

Indeed, the fact that the DNC knew, but kept secret, the fact that Russian hackers were responsible for their computer breach at around the same time that Democratic operatives began funding the group that would go on to broker a meeting between Trump’s inner circle and a high-profile Russian national appears highly sinister. [Daily Caller, 7/10/17]

Fake news purveyor Before It’s News: “Donald Trump Jr. met with” Russian lawyer “in what appears to be a honey trap.” A July 10 blog post on fake news purveyor Before It’s News argued that Trump Jr.’s meeting “appears to be a honey trap,” adding, “the whole thing has the same distinctly familiar funny smell about it.” The post continued, claiming (emphasis original), “This humble author’s personal guess is that at a minimum … James Clapper, James Comey, and John Brennan” were “behind this entire operation”:

According to the latest developments, Donald Trump Jr. met with Natalia Veselnitskaya in what appears to be a honey trap. Ms. Veselnitskaya alleged that she had some dirt on Hillary Clinton that she would make available.

[...]

The whole thing has the same distinctly familiar funny smell about it, especially the involvement of Fusion GPS which according to reports, is not cooperating with congressional investigators.

If this happened in June 2016 it could be proof that the plot against Trump was already in full swing and ready to be rolled out.

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered here, most of all who is behind this entire operation. This humble author’s personal guess is that at a minimum it would include the big three heads of Obama’s intelligence agencies – James Clapper, James Comey and John Brennan.

The positive is that this is all that’s left in the arsenal and is being used to carpet bomb the Trump campaign with sleazy innuendo after everything else has failed.

This is a last, desperate gasp to sink any sort of normalization with Russia – if it had any credibility it would have already been rolled out months ago. [Before It’s News, 7/10/17]

John Cardillo:

[Twitter, 7/9/17]

Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly:

[Twitter, 7/11/17]

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