In Trump’s shifting narrative about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, only one thing is clear: there is definitely something to hide. In addition to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russian government operatives, as well as Trump’s alleged attempts to cover it up by obstructing justice, there is also an investigation of Russian election interference. Putin may have just signed Trump’s indictment warrant with an appearance on Australian television.
This happened: Vladimir Putin told an Austrian television station that he and Trump "regularly talk over the phone" and are working together "on areas of mutual interest."
Is this true? Who knows. But Trump has no more credibility than Putin, so a denial would be meaningless. pic.twitter.com/M4kSlYCeYE
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) June 5, 2018
Trump continues to deny that he had any relationship with Vladimir Putin prior to his presidency, except when he didn’t deny it and said that he definitely did have a relationship with the Russian president.
— vlh (@coton_luver) September 2, 2017
Putin sat for an interview with an Australian news outlet and said that he and Trump had met
‘Donald Trump and I have met at various international venues, and secondly, we regularly talk over the phone.’
Whether Putin is lying about those meetings or Donald Trump is, it would not be the first suspicious meeting between the two, whose relationship is tied to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.
Officially, Trump and Putin have met only at the G20 Summit. A conversation between the two took place publicly, but another took place that remained undisclosed for some time. That second meeting included no American translator, no American press, and no American Trump administration member, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
First, we’re told there were no meetings with Russians. Then, we’re told Trump had no part in drafting the false Trump Tower statement. Then, we’re told he weighed in. Now, we’re told he dictated it. Not a word can be trusted of Trump or his staff on Russia, or perhaps anything. https://t.co/wEFoytdNG4
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 3, 2018
In what seems like too wild a story to be just a coincidence, Trump blasted the media’s coverage of that meeting as “fake news” and said the two only met for 15 minutes on July 7 to exchange pleasantries and talk about adoption. On July 8, Donald Trump, Jr. was exposed for his meeting with Russian government operatives at Trump Tower and tweeted that the meeting was only about adoption.
Two details that were originally falsified are now very publicly known. Trump, Jr. lied about the subject of that meeting and his father dictated the false statement his son would give to the press. Trump, Sr. dictated that statement aboard Air Force One on his way back to the states from the G20 Summit.
Junior’s original statement matched his father’s.
‘It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared (Kushner) and Paul (Manafort) to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up. I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.’
July 7, 2017: Trump speaks privately w/Putin, w/only a Russian translator, about “adoption”
July 8, 2017: Trump dictates statement for Trump Jr, says the Trump Tower meeting was about “adoption”
July 8, 2017: Trump Jr releases statement claiming the meeting was about “adoption”
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 4, 2018
The subject of “adoption” is interjected repeatedly into this narrative thanks to U.S. sanctions against Russia called the Magnitsky Act, which was levied against the hostile foreign country after the Kremlin jailed an lawyer who uncovered “a dense web of tax fraud and graft involving 23 companies and a total of $230 million linked to the Kremlin and individuals close to the government” and allowed him to die of pancreatitis without medical care. President Obama signed the sanction and Putin retaliated by blocking Russian adoptions by the United States.
FWIW, here are Paul Manafort’s notes from the meeting.
They do include words & names related to the Magnitsky Act- a topic related to Russian adoptions- but there are other fascinating notes that are still a bit of a mystery.
Value in Cyprus as inter -??? pic.twitter.com/GaDlxJM7k9
— Shelby Holliday (@shelbyholliday) June 4, 2018
‘If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.’
“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer”
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you can find the 30,000 emails that are missing”
History will remember that you heard yet chose not to listen. Continue to ignore your obligations & they will be taken away
— Travis (@travton) June 5, 2018