Sohn: It wasn't the 'deep state' that threw Jr. under the bus

Sohn: It wasn't the 'deep state' that threw Jr. under the bus

August 7th, 2018 by Pam Sohn in Opinion Times

President Donald Trump speaks during a Thursday rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

President Donald Trump with his son Donald Jr. leave the White House in Washington on their way to a political rally, July 5, 2018. Trump on Aug. 5 denied a report that he is worried about the legal exposure for his son, who hosted a June 2016 meeting between some of Trump's top campaign advisers and a Kremlin-connected lawyer. (Samuel Corum/The New York Times)

President Donald Trump with his son Donald Jr....

Photo by Samuel Corum/The New York Times

Forget worrying about "the deep state."

And never mind concerns about special counsel Bob Mueller's "17 angry Democrats."

The person who ultimately will take Donald Trump down is Donald Trump.

Trump unplugged.

Trump just being Trump.

Take Sunday, for example, when instead of golfing during his vacation time, he tweeted that the Trump Tower meeting among top campaign aides, including his son and a Kremlin-connected lawyer, was designed to "get information on an opponent."

Wait. Isn't that not what he said last year when he and his son first characterized the meeting as about Russian adoptions?

As The New York Times story later Sunday stated, Trump's tweet was "the starkest acknowledgment yet that a statement he dictated last year about the encounter was misleading."

Notice that The New York Times did not note that one or the other of those tweets/statements was a lie, though one clearly had to be.

Trump's Sunday morning tweet came on the heels of wide reporting that Trump began his working vacation in a "brooding" mood.

The Washington Post had reported that Trump was uneasy that some in his orbit — including Donald Trump Jr. — are ensnared in the Russia probe and — by the elder Trump's assessment — are in that position simply because of their connection to him.

Typically, the same Trump who often blusters that only he can fix something, always points the finger of blame at everyone and everything else. Nothing is ever his fault. We should probably assume that someone else was tweeting for him Sunday when, instead of making a good defense for his son's role in hosting that June 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney and all of the who's-whos of his campaign to "get dirt" on Hillary Clinton by "talking" about adoptions, he thumbed out that the Post story about his brooding was a "complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower."

The tweet continues:

"This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!"

Totally legal? Done all the time in politics?

While it's true that opposition research is done all the time, campaigns pay for it. It's a thing of value that must be reported on financial disclosures.

And it is 100 percent illegal for a campaign to accept something of value from a foreign power. Period. End of story.

But not likely the end of Trump's incriminating tweets.

Just consider the run-up to this moment:

The New York Times first reported the now-infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting in July of 2017. Trump Jr. soon issued a statement insisting it had been focused only on Russian adoptions. (Yes, in response to a U.S. law known as the Magnitsky Act which placed sanctions on Russia, the Kremlin had banned American adoptions of Russian children. The Russian attorney who met with Trump's son, son-in-law and top aides had lobbied to change the law and get those sanctions lifted.)

It soon became known that the president helped draft the statement by Junior that they only talked about adoptions.

But faced with emails that showed Trump Jr. had a different role in the meeting, Junior wound up releasing a whole string of emails that explained the meeting's set-up. In those emails, it was suggested there would be "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. To those suggestions, Junior replied: "[I]f it's what you say I love it"

Doesn't this sound like they developed a plan to mislead the public and the Justice Department by concocting a false explanation of that meeting? Doesn't this sound like colluding, conspiring, strategizing — pick your word — to work with Russia and then cover it up?

Doesn't continually commenting negatively and attempting to interfere with an ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in our election seem like that "obstruction" word?

And then the president can't keep his tweet stories straight. Was he defending Junior, or was he just pointing the finger of blame and adding, "I did not know about it."

Seriously, who needs the nonexistent "deep state" that Trump so fears: He is his own worst enemy. And ours.

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