Trump Jr. Met Russian for Hillary Dirt

Russia, With Love: In what may be the first public evidence of collusion between the Trump election campaign and Russia, Donald Trump Jr. was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer just weeks after Trump clinched the Republican nomination. The NY Times first reported on the meeting Saturday, but this latest nugget about Clinton is new.

The June 9, 2016 meeting has been confirmed by the Trumps. It is the first indication that Donald Trump Jr. was involved in whatever the campaign was doing with the Russians.

The Times was unable to say whether the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually produced the promised information about Mrs. Clinton.

Trump Junior said in a statement, “After pleasantries were exchanged the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

The younger Trump said the lawyer then turned the conversation to a dispute with the US about the adoption of Russian children, which he believed was the intended agenda of the meeting.

National Insecurity: In a move equivalent to asking a burglar for advice on your home security, President Trump said via Twitter yesterday that he wants to establish a joint cyber security unit with the Russians.

Trump wrote, “Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded and safe. Questions were asked about why the CIA & FBI had to ask the DNC 13 times for their SERVER, and were rejected, still don’t have it.” He asked, “Why did Obama do NOTHING when he had info before election?”

This comes after Trump seems to have accepted Vladimir Putin’s word that the Russians didn’t hack the election, despite the universal opinion of US intelligence agencies that they did. And why is he complaining about Obama doing nothing about something Trump says didn’t happen?

Then Trump tweeted, “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen.”

Nevermind.

Permawar: Iraq has declared victory in the nine-month battle to take back Mosul from the Islamic State, a fight that left much of the city in rubble, killed thousands of civilians, and turned as many as a million into refugees.

In Syria, US-backed forces are moving in on the city of Raqqa and another defeat for the Islamic State, dashing hopes for an Islamic “caliphate.” But rather than vanquishing ISIS, the victories are forcing it to return to its roots as an insurgent force with no territorial center. It’s like the toothpaste is out of the tube.

Buckeye Cure: One of the pleasures of having Donald Trump as president is all the colorful writing he inspires. David Remnick writes in The New Yorker that, “Trump may operate a twenty-first-century Twitter machine, but he is still a frontier-era drummer peddling snake oil, juniper tar, and Dr. Tabler’s Buckeye Pile Cure for profit from the back of a dusty wagon.”

Remnick goes on, “Every day, Trump wakes up and erodes the dignity of the Presidency a little more. He tells a lie. He tells another. He trolls Arnold Schwarzenegger. He trolls the press, bellowing ‘enemy of the people’ and ‘fake news!’ He shoves aside a Balkan head of state. He summons his Cabinet members to have them swear fealty to his awesomeness. He leers at an Irish journalist.”

He concludes, “Donald Trump is not forever. Sometimes it just seems that way.”

Golden Years: Comedian and all-around Hollywood guy Carl Reiner wrote an open letter in the NY Times urging Justice Anthony Kennedy not to retire from the Supreme Court. “As a nonagenarian who has just completed the most prolific, productive five years of my life,” Reiner wrote, “I feel it incumbent upon me to urge a hearty octogenarian such as yourself not to put your feet up on the ottoman just yet.”

Reiner is 95 years old, Kennedy just 81.

The comedian wrote, “The country needs justices like you who decide each case with fairness and humanity, and whose allegiance is to the Constitution of the United States of America, not to a party line.”

Reiner said, “Although our lives are different, I’m sure there are similarities. I get up in the morning, and if I’m not in the obits, I eat breakfast. You get up, meet with your clerks and engage with them in spirited discussion about the constitutional ramifications of the important cases at hand.”

Friday, November 24, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

"One of the things that actually Trump has benefited from is that, on a daily if not hourly basis, there are things he says that you could never have imagined any other American president -- left, right, up or down -- saying, and they kind of bleed into each other. And you sort of forget, 'Oh, yes, 72 hours ago, he said this...'"

-Jeff Greenfield on CNN’s "Reliable Sources"

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