Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

Donald Trump junior’s meeting with a Russian lawyer

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 15 luglio 2017

donald trumpTHE official version is as follows. In June 2016, the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump junior was asked by an acquaintance, someone whom he knew from the Miss Universe pageant, to have a meeting with someone who, he was told, “might have information helpful to” his father’s campaign. He agreed, despite not knowing the name of the person he was to meet. Mr Trump junior “had to listen”, he tweeted. He also asked the campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Mr Trump’s son-in-law and consigliere, Jared Kushner, to come along. On the other side of the table, it turned out, was Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer. The meeting lasted for 20 to 30 minutes, Ms Veselnitskaya was “vague, ambiguous and made no sense”. The candidate did not know about this meeting.The unofficial version, which may prove to be more accurate, and was supplied by the New York Times, overlaps with this but with some crucial differences. The campaign did indeed meet Ms Veselnitsaya, who may have been working for the Russian government in some capacity, since she was involved in trying to overturn the Magnitsky Act. Ms Veselnitskaya offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump’s opponent in the general election.The story of Russian interference in last year’s presidential election is a slimy rock face, but there are a few solid footholds. It is known, thanks to repeated assessments made by the intelligence agencies, that the Russian government tried to intervene in last year’s presidential election. The agencies believe that the aim of this intervention was to harm Mrs Clinton and to aid Mr Trump, though it is not clear whether the Kremlin actually wanted Mr Trump to win, or just wanted to sow discord and distrust (an aim it achieved).But there has, to date, been little evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The Wall Street Journal has reported that a Republican operative was working on a plan to get e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee by Russian hackers into the hands of Michael Flynn, then an adviser to the Trump campaign, for example. There have also been lots of stories about the importance of Russian money in the president’s business dealings, which is interesting but not necessarily damning. By placing the president’s son, son-in-law and campaign manager in a meeting with someone with ties to the Russian government who was, apparently, keen to provide damaging information about Mrs Clinton that had been stolen, the Times goes much further.From the importance of a personal connection made at a beauty contest to the location of the meeting in a tower with the family’s name on it, from the willingness to take a meeting on the fly with anyone with a shared enemy, the story is a concentrated shot of Trump. From the Kremlin’s point of view, just getting a lawyer who was working to undermine American foreign policy into the room with the president’s family and campaign manager was a coup, and one that comes with substantial opportunities for undermining the candidate at a later date, whatever was said.Whichever version turns out to be closer to the truth, though, the range of explanations is between bad and worthy of prosecution. Either the Trump campaign was exceptionally naive in meeting Ms Veselnitskaya. Or it colluded with an agent of a foreign power to gain an advantage in the election. It is now up to Robert Mueller, the special counsel looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election, to find out which of these it was. (font: The Economist)


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