More Lies and the Liars Who Told Them

If you thought that we were done hearing about the plethoric lies Donald Trump, his family, and his staff have told about Don Jr.'s meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, I regret to inform you that we are not! How many lies can one group of reprobates tell about a single meeting? SO MANY!

First: It turns out that there was a sixth attendee at the meeting, in addition to Don Jr., Veselnitskaya, Rob Goldstone (who brokered the meeting), Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort: Veselnitskaya "was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned."

Although NBC News declined to name the former GRU officer, multiple sources have identified him as Rinat Akhmetshin, who also showed up with Veselnitskaya at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "U.S. Policy Towards Putin's Russia."

So, not only did Don Jr. attend a "very fast" meeting with a Kremlin-connected attorney, but also with a Russian counterintelligence officer.

Further, despite Trump saying he only found out about the meeting a few days ago, his "legal team was informed more than three weeks ago."
Trump repeated that assertion in a talk with reporters on Air Force One on his way to Paris Wednesday night. "I only heard about it two or three days ago," he said, according to a transcript of his talk, when asked about the meeting with Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in June 2016 attended by Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, then Trump's campaign chief, and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

But the sources told Yahoo News that Marc Kasowitz, the president's chief lawyer in the Russia investigation, and Alan Garten, executive vice president and chief legal officer of the Trump Organization, were both informed about the emails in the third week of June, after they were discovered by lawyers for Kushner, who is now a senior White House official.

...The discovery of the emails prompted Kushner to amend his security clearance form to reflect the meeting, which he had failed to report when he originally sought clearance for his White House job. That revision — his second — to the so-called SF-86, was done on June 21. Kushner made the change even though there were questions among his lawyers whether the meeting had to be reported, given that there was no clear evidence that Veselnitskaya was a government official. The change to the security form prompted the FBI to question Kushner on June 23, the second time he was interviewed by agents about his security clearance, the sources said.

But the information that Trump's lawyers were told about the emails in June raises questions about why they would not have immediately informed the president.

...A spokesman for Kasowitz declined to comment, saying the matter involved "privileged information." Garten did not respond to an email request for comment.
There is no good explanation here. Either Trump has known for weeks and he's lying (likely), or his own attorneys are keeping the President of the United States out of the loop on an issue of grave national security, and he's so out of touch with one of his closest advisors (and son-in-law) Kushner that he had no knowledge of Kushner updating his SF-86, despite the fact that's such a big deal it triggered questioning by the FBI.

Meanwhile, Kushner is lying even about re-filing the SF-86, because of course he is.

Finally, in related news, one of Trump's aforementioned attorneys, Marc Kasowitz, is [Content Note: Harassment; threats; slurs] just as impulsively abusive as his loathsome client.

Everything is fine. (Everything is not fine.)

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