It’s kind of a miracle that the Trump Organization continues to function given how the members of the Trump family tasked with running the company are complete nincompoops. Not only are they bad liars, but they also routinely blurt out inadvertent confessions.
For example, President Trump famously reacted to leaks in the press about the illegal activities of former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn by saying outright, “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.” Oh, really? Thanks for confirming that the content of the leaks was legitimate.
Trump also confessed to attempting to use The National Enquirer to blackmail Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, tweeting that Joe contacted him about killing the story and Trump “said no,” indicating that it was a possibility. And, of course, we all remember when Trump contradicted the official White House response to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey when he told Lester Holt that he fired Comey to stop the Trump-Russia investigation.
It turns out, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because Donald Trump Jr.’s explanation for his June 9, 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties is basically a tacit admission of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. In the statement, Trump Jr. recounted the general details of the meeting, and even though he claims that the Russian lawyer, Natalie Veselnitskaya, didn’t give them the dirt on Hillary Clinton as promised, the meeting still took place under the pretext that damning anti-Hillary information would be provided. That’s collusion, and, remarkably, this is only one small piece of a colossal iceberg.
At this point, I’m half expecting the president to blab about the entire thing during a particularly lengthy session of poop-tweeting (or “twooping,” as my friend Jacki Schechner calls it).
Here’s the other really dumb thing emerging from the Trump camp on Monday. The best excuse they could come up with — and by “they,” I mean pro-Trump Republicans — is that the meeting was nothing more than an effort to gather opposition research about Hillary. For example:
Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent… went nowhere but had to listen. https://t.co/ccUjL1KDEa
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 10, 2017
Newsflash? Campaigns of all stripes collect dirt on opponents. It's called "oppo research" as in "opposition". HRC and Dems did to Trump.
— Jeff Lord (@realJeffreyLord) July 10, 2017
And this via Joe Scarborough:
A GOP congressman is on @CNN saying that he would have also met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer for oppo research if given the chance. Wow.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) July 10, 2017
Not only are the Trumps continuing to stupidly talk about the story, which should be driving their lawyers to an early grave, but they’re again confirming that the meetings took place with the express purpose of gathering dirt on Hillary from a lawyer linked to the Kremlin. Making matters even worse, they’re leaving out a crucial piece of the puzzle here which is that they were gathering “oppo research” from a hostile foreign government that was in the midst of a major cyber-attack on the United States — a hostile foreign government that was attacking us and which also has extensive financial ties, including potential money-laundering schemes, with the Trumps.
By pursuing this desperately rendered excuse for the meeting, they’re actually calling more attention to the 4,000 pound gorilla in the room. By leaving out the part about Russia and its ties to Trump, they’re begging anchors, analysts, reporters and pundits to fill in the blank on their own. It’s like when a kid gets caught with a porn magazine and tells his parents that he got it from a friend, sparking the question: “Which friend?”
A common refrain circulating through my head recently is this: Thank goodness this was Donald Trump and not a real-life Frank Underwood. Otherwise, we wouldn’t get to enjoy the ongoing accidental confessions of these bungling political Gumps. The more we observe the vast dumbness of what John Oliver calls “Stupid Watergate,” it’s becoming increasingly obvious there’s no way in hell this team of flailing doofs and preening toddlers won the 2016 election without serious help from Moscow. It’s also reaching a point of certainty that more than a few of them are going to prison.