Trump’s ever-chang­ing sto­ries on Rus­sia

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

This ap­peared in the St. Louis Post-Dis­patch:

In the month af­ter the start of the Sec­ond World War, Win­ston Churchill said he couldn’t de­ter­mine what Rus­sia was go­ing to do: “It is a rid­dle, wrapped in a mys­tery, in­side an enigma.” Nearly eight decades later, the same can be said about the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­la­tion­ships with Rus­sia.

Since Fri­day, when Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump held his first meet­ing with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, the pres­i­dent and his spokes­peo­ple have of­fered con­flict­ing and con­tra­dic­tory ac­counts of what was said and agreed to.

Among the ques­tions: What hap­pened to the joint cy­ber­se­cu­rity agree­ment Trump said had been reached? Were U.S. sanc­tions against Rus­sia brought up? Those rid­dles quickly got swal­lowed up by a big­ger mys­tery: Trump ar­rived home as The New York Times was re­port­ing that in June 2016, his el­dest son, son-in-law and then-cam­paign man­ager se­cretly met with a Rus­sian lawyer with ties to the Krem­lin. Don­ald Trump Jr. claimed the meet­ing was about Rus­sia’s ban on adop­tions by U.S. fam­i­lies.

It got worse. On Sun­day the Times re­ported that Trump Jr., Jared Kush­ner and Paul Manafort had been lured to the meet­ing with a prom­ise that the lawyer had po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton.

A third shoe dropped when the Times re­ported the meet­ing was ar­ranged af­ter Trump Jr. got an email from a well-con­nected Moscow mu­sic pub­li­cist say­ing lawyer Natalia Ve­sel­nit­skaya had in­for­ma­tion that was part of a Rus­sian gov­ern­ment scheme to help Trump’s can­di­dacy by hurt­ing Clin­ton’s.

Then on Tues­day morn­ing the Times pub­lished the text of pub­li­cist Rob Gold­stone’s email: “This is ob­vi­ously very high level and sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion but is part of Rus­sia and its gov­ern­ment’s sup­port for Mr. Trump.” Did Trump Jr. call a lawyer or the FBI? No, he hit re­ply: “If it’s what you say I love it es­pe­cially later in the sum­mer.”

Trump Jr. said Mon­day that he’d be happy to talk about all of this with the Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee. As soon as he’s un­der oath, the first ques­tion must be, “How much of this did you tell your fa­ther?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.