Russia

Today’s “collusion” non-story

Featured image The anti-Trump mainstream media is buzzing with news that Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian American lobbyist and veteran of the Soviet military, attended the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Rosalind Helderman and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post insist that Akhmetshin’s presence “adds to the potential seriousness of the Trump Tower gathering that is emerging this week as the clearest evidence so far of »

Assess this

Featured image Did Putin prefer Trump in the presidential election of 2016? According to the intelligence report dated January 6, 2017, Putin not only preferred Trump to Clinton. He mounted a so-called influence campaign to put him over. The report is posted online here. Issued under the auspices of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the report is based on the intelligence and assessments of the CIA, the FBI and »

The Russian Bear and the Teddy Bear

Featured image Talk of Russia, which the Democrats considered our ally (or something) as recently as 2012, when President Obama scoffed at Mitt Romney’s statement that Russia was a geopolitical rival, has dominated the political scene for months. Given that fact, it is remarkable that nothing particularly significant about Russia has been discovered. President Trump, meanwhile, has taken a tough line against Putin’s regime, much tougher than Barack Obama’s, as should have »

The new meaning of treason

Featured image Rebecca West wrote a once well-known book about British supporters of the Nazis during World War II that she called The Meaning of Treason (1947). Harry Kalven’s review is posted here. West famously revisited the subject to take account of the British Communists who spied for the Soviet Union in The New Meaning of Treason (1964). Sidney Hook’s review is here. When I wrote “The new meaning of collusion” earlier »

Let’s call the whole thing kollusion [with comment by Paul]

Featured image I wrote about the New York Times stories here and here reporting on Donald Trump, Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer in “The new meaning of collusion.” I focused on the latter story in a post early on Tuesday morning, before Trump Jr. released the email chain that the story described at second hand. Whatever the faults of the story, in retrospect I wrongly made light of it. »

Did Trump know about his son’s meeting?

Featured image Peter Baker of the New York Times presents a timeline that invites the reader to view Donald Trump, Jr.’s emails and meeting with the Russian lawyer as connected with other events occurring in the same time frame. The conclusion Baker thinks can, but not necessarily should, be drawn is that, his recent denial notwithstanding, the senior Trump knew about his son’s impending meeting with the Russian lawyer and thought the »

Lessons from the Veselnitskaya affair

Featured image It’s clear that Natalia Veselnitskaya pulled a bait-and-switch on Donald Trump, Jr. She induced him to a meeting with the promise of information that could be used against Hillary Clinton, but delivered no such information. Instead, she used the meeting to lobby the son of the presumptive Republican nominee for president on the supposed evils of the Magnitsky Act. That Act blacklists Russians who were determined to have engaged in »

This day in “collusion” hysteria

Featured image The mainstream media is in a state of ecstasy over the story of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with that Russian lawyer. It’s easy to understand why. After months with nothing to feed on, the media now has a scrap. In this context, the meal feels like a feast. It certainly seems that way to Ruth Marcus. She declares, absurdly, that the Trump Jr. emails “could hardly be more incriminating.” I »

How did that Russian lawyer get to stay in the U.S.?

Featured image Natalia Veselnitskaya is the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump, Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016. Trump, Jr. met with her because he thought she might have information damaging to Hillary Clinton. Apparently, she had none and wanted to talk instead about the Magnitsky Act, about which more later. These facts are well known to anyone who has been following the news recently. What’s less known is that »

A Russia collusion story worth pursuing

Featured image The mainstream media may be looking for evidence of Russian collusion in all the wrong places. So far, despite its epic search, the media has uncovered no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential election. There is evidence, though, that Russia has colluded with U.S. environmental groups. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science Committee, tells James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal: If you »

No collusion by Trump Jr., but not much candor either

Featured image It’s my view that the stories about Donald Trump, Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer in the hope of obtaining negative information about Hillary Clinton or the Democratic party do not state a case of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Nor do they suggest wrongdoing on the part of Trump, Jr. However, the stories do raise concerns of a different type. The first concern arises from Trump, »

Trump Jr. Releases Emails; They Support His Account

Featured image Earlier this morning, Donald Trump, Jr. released the email threads relating to his meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016. The emails support his account of the meeting. Here they are, with the earlier ones first. The early emails are the only significant ones; the later emails relate to scheduling. Click to enlarge: A few points are worth noting. First, the emails support Trump Jr.’s statement that he »

The media remains all screwed up on collusion

Featured image I planned to call my first post of the day “The Shifting Meaning of Collusion.” Then I saw the title of Scott’s post. That’s the disadvantage of waking up at 10:00 in the morning rather than five hours earlier. But I want to amplify Scott’s point. Claims of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia arose in connection with Russian computer hacking. The hacking was the one significant set of »

The new meaning of collusion

Featured image Today the New York Times credits four reporters with the story advancing the latest installment of the “collusion” story involving the Trump campaign and a mysterious Russian lawyer. We are colluding in comedy. In today’s episode the Times reports that before Donald Trump, Jr. arranged a meeting with “a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email »

On collusion, the media is all screwed up

Featured image I want to add a few thoughts to Scott’s post about the meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer who said she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The damaging information reportedly had to do with Russian funding of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton. The main point I want to make is that there is nothing wrong with such a meeting and such discussions, though in »

Fake news from the Washington Post

Featured image In the Washington Post’s lead story today, another screed about how Trump allegedly is selling out to the Russians, Philip Rucker writes: After Putin denied in his meeting with Trump any such election interference, the U.S. president tried to turn the page altogether on the issue of Russian hacking. As special counsel Robert S. Mueller III investigates Russian interference and possible collusion with Trump campaign officials, Trump has repeatedly labeled »

Yesterday in collusion revisited

Featured image On Saturday afternoon the New York Times posted the story that Donald Trump, Jr. had met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 along with Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort. Trump issued a statement that the meeting was “primarily about” issues of adoption. Trump explained: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.” »