Who Is the Russian Lobbyist Who Met the Trump Team?

Vanessa Beaulieu
Juillet 17, 2017

But what Trump said the other day is that anybody would try to collude.

Trump himself came to the defense of his son, who he said "is being scorned by the Fake News Media".

"Omissions are as harmful as contradictions because it seems like you're hiding something", Ari Fleischer, former press secretary to President George W. Bush, said of the Trump team's strategy. And there it was in black and white.

The attorney's focus on the law appears aimed at moving beyond the shifting accounts of the meeting given by Trump Jr. And, you know, it's really remarkable. How important is this development? Those emails said the information was, quote, "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump". "He said he may have met with Russian people, as a lot of people meet with Russian people, so that's not unusual", Sekulow said on CNN's "State of the Union". "We've got to have America around". "Working on new trade deals that will be great for U.S. and its workers!"

Prosecutors also pointed out the lawyer "was not deposed and did not even attend the depositions in person" and used the rooms "the weekend after the depositions had concluded". A conservative writer said a couple weeks ago that the Trump administration is afflicted with Russian amnesia.

"I don't know that there's anyone powerful enough on the team to marshal this and get all the facts out now", Fleischer said.

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The number of people known to be at the meeting also changed over time.

MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Good to be with you. All he cares about is his self-interest.

"Nothing in that meeting that would have taken place, even if it was about the topic of an opposition research paper from a Russian lawyer, is illegal or a violation of the law", Sekulow said on "Fox News Sunday", a point he repeated several times. For months, President Trump said nobody from his team coordinated with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. And that's what feeds the suspicion.

SHAPIRO: So if there was no collusion it wasn't for lack of trying, E.J.? The most benign explanation is that Trump is worried that such investigations will undermine his political legitimacy.

The attorney's hiring comes in a week in which scrutiny of the Trump family's involvement in the election interference efforts was invigorated by revelations that the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to a meeting in June 2016 with a Russian attorney he was told had incriminating information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Either way, the president is not treating this with the seriousness that an attack on our democracy deserves.

Putin has called the law "outrageous" and retaliated in 2012 by cutting off an adoption program allowing Americans to adopt Russian children. It was meant to impress, and it clearly hit the mark. That's worthy of Bartlett's. And that happened twice within a week. That may be just what Trump is counting on. The perfectly choreographed visit included a tour of Napoleon's tomb and dinner at a chic restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.

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