Russia

Trump’s “undisclosed” meeting with Putin

Featured image President Trump chatted at some length with Vladimir Putin during a dinner for G-20 leaders in Hamburg, Germany last week. The Washington Post and New York Times describe the meeting as “undisclosed,” an accurate description in the sense that Trump’s team didn’t tell the press about it. But the press acts as if Trump was obligated to tell it. He wasn’t. The press also acts as if there was something »

Collusion Confusion

Featured image Many Democrats, and even a few Republicans, have claimed that Donald Trump, Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have information about Hillary Clinton’s illicit dealings with Russia while she was Secretary of State constitutes the long-sought evidence of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, even though the Russian with whom Trump, Jr. met conveyed no such information. This, I think, overlooks a very basic »

Too much of nothing

Featured image In her response to my comments on her recent Trump/Russia column, Mona Charen writes: “The Wall Street Journal story about a Republican operative seeking Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails through Russia and claiming that he was working with Mike Flynn is possibly significant.” Anything is possible, but it is highly unlikely. Mona links to Shane Harris’s June 29 Wall Street Journal story on which I commented here. Andrew McCarthy blew off »

Periods in search of an argument

Featured image Today’s column by Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post is called “The. Meeting. Was. Not. Okay.” Can you find the part of the column where she offers reasons in support of this proposition? I can’t. Marcus and her editors must believe that if you put enough periods in the title, no argument in favor of the proposition is necessary. Marcus also asserts that Trump denies Russia interfered in the election. »

A witch hunt?

Featured image Mona Charen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, a syndicated columnist and author of two best-selling books that I have found permanently relevant, Do-Gooders and Useful Idiots. She is also a friend whom I greatly admire for her honesty and integrity. Both NRO and Jewish World Review carry Mona’s column. In her most recent column, Mona set forth “16 Things You Must Believe »

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 »