The Lying Liars Tell More Lies About Don Jr.'s Meeting

Rep. Adam Schiff makes me laugh-sob on the regular, and the above is certainly no exception. The spinning from Team Trump on Don Trump Jr.'s meeting with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has been incredible, even by the woeful expectations engendered by this lot of miscreants.

The latest dodge, offered by Donald Trump attorney Jay Sekulow — who was all over the Sunday talk shows — is to argue that there couldn't have been anything sinister about the meeting since the Secret Service didn't prevent the meeting.

On ABC's This Week, Sekulow said: "Well, I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in. The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me."

Nice try. Just one problem with that:
In an emailed response to questions about Sekulow's comments, Secret Service spokesman Mason Brayman said the younger Trump was not under Secret Service protection at the time of the meeting, which included Trump's son and two senior campaign officials.

"Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time," the statement said.

...The Secret Service's mission is to provide physical protection for the U.S. president. The agency also protects major presidential candidates. But its role in vetting people who meet with a U.S. president or candidates is limited to ensuring physical safety.
So, the Secret Service wasn't protecting Don Jr., and, even if they had been, they wouldn't have vetted anyone's general "nefariousness."

But a closer look at Sekulow's statement reveals he wasn't even suggesting Don Jr. was under Secret Service protection. "The president had Secret Service protection at that point," he says. Is he accidentally revealing that Donald Trump was at the meeting himself, despite having repeatedly claimed to know nothing about it until a few days before the New York Times report?

At Business Insider, Natasha Bertrand takes a look at the timeline:
According to media reports from that time, Trump was at Trump Tower at 4 p.m. while the meeting was taking place in his son's office. The only public event the then-candidate attended that day was a fundraising lunch for the Trump Victory Fund, CNN reported, and he was back at Trump Tower by 1 p.m.

...The meeting lasted "15 to 20 minutes," according to Sekulow. Trump Jr. had said it lasted about half an hour. Either way, at 4:40, roughly 40 minutes after the meeting began, Trump began tweeting about Clinton's emails.

"Where are your 33,000 emails that you deleted?" Trump tweeted in response to a quip from Clinton.
What Trump is asking us to believe is that he just coincidentally tweeted about Hillary Clinton's emails within a half hour of his son having a meeting with Russians who promised to deliver some dirt on Clinton — the very same emails he publicly invited the Russians to produce via hacking at a press conference a month later — but didn't know anything about the meeting or its contents until a year later. Sure.

That not only defies logic, but defies everything we know about Donald Trump.
Trump Jr. has said the meeting was inconsequential and a waste of time. But Sekulow's comment about the Secret Service, and Trump's reported presence at Trump Tower while the meeting was taking place, raise questions about how plausible it is that his son, campaign manager, son-in-law, and Secret Service detail (if they were made aware of the rendezvous) never told him about it or that he did not attend.

That is especially true given Trump's hands-on approach to all aspects of his business empire, biographer Tim O'Brien has noted. According to a former business associate, Jody Kriss, "Donald [Sr.] was always in charge."

"Donald had to agree to every term of every deal and had to sign off on everything," Kriss, who worked with the real-estate company Bayrock before leaving because he was convinced it was a money-laundering front, told O'Brien last month. "Nothing happened unless he said it was OK to do it. Even if Donald Jr. shook your hand on a deal, he came back downstairs to renegotiate if his father told him to."
The claim that Donald Trump didn't know about this meeting is just utter horseshit. And that is the way the media should be approaching this story, frankly: It defies belief that he didn't. Proceed accordingly.

And while we're on the subject of members of the Trump administration who love to claim they don't know nuttin' about nuttin'...

They're all on the hook for this one. Every last one of them.

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