Political campaigns are full of liars and fabulists. From the candidate who promises to repeal Obamacare root--and-branch, to the volunteer who lies about how many doors he knocked, campaigns attract people who are, as Mark Twain observed, “Economical with the truth.”
I know because I spent almost 40 years working in elections all over the U.S. and in a handful of islands.
Think of all the disfunction and outrage you’ve ever endured in any organization where you’ve worked. Then condense the burned microwave popcorn in the break room, the idea-stealing colleague, the boss who doesn’t give the promised raise, the boasting braggart and the job description that changes monthly into a timeframe of only a few months.
That’s a political campaign.
The people outside the campaign who want to “help” are often no better. The relative that meddles, the donor with advice on campaign commercials and the family friend who has negative information that’s going to “blow the opponent out of the water.”
The Trump campaign had to deal with all these annoyance on the largest scale possible.
This brings us to Donald Trump, Jr. He’s a businessman with zero political experience. On June 3, 2016 he gets an email from a music publicist, who tells him a Russian singer says his dad met with the “Crown prosecutor of Russia,” who in turn said he had documents related to Hillary’s Russian dealings that would incriminate her.
The only difference between this and typical campaign fantasy mongering is the information wasn’t for sale.
Media hindsight is currently spinning this third-hand account of potential Russian government “help” as the latest confirmation of the Axis of Internet hacking conspiracy. What this “evidence” really proves is the Russia collusion scandal is the leftist equivalent of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy.
Neither the timeline nor the result stand up to objective scrutiny.
When Donald, Jr. received the initial email Trump wasn’t even the nominee. Instead he was the presumed nominee - although John Kasich had recently stopped taking his medicine and was attempting to organize other bitter-enders in an effort to seize the GOP convention.
Those of you who are counting may list this as the first attempted coup against Trump.
If you are as credulous as the Opposition Media it makes perfect sense the Russian security service, the FSB, would use a music publicist sending an unencrypted email as part of a nefarious plot to derail Our First Female President.
The situation was significantly different from Junior’s viewpoint. The message refers to a so-called “Crown prosecutor of Russia.” But it may as well have been the “Clown prosecutor of Russia.” The office is as imaginary as the documentation.
Google the phrase and you get 40,800 results that refer to the news stories about the email.
For Trump the primary motivation for the meeting isn’t a sit-down with some shadowy Russian. Donald, Jr. is maintaining a business relationship. The singer’s dad is a Russian big-shot Trump, Inc. has done business with in the past. The rule of thumb for operating in an oligarchy is: Keep the Oligarchs Happy! A meeting with a potential crackpot is a small price to pay to stay in the Russian market.
If the Russian “agent” does have information, so much the better. One thing his motivation couldn’t have been was joining some Russian conspiracy to steal the election. That’s because the alleged Russian DNC hack wasn’t announced until AFTER junior’s meeting.
The Russian scandal that had been in the news was in connection with Hillary’s ties to the infamous Uranium One deal.
As reported in the New York Times more than a year earlier, Sec. of State Hillary approved a deal where Russians acquired a majority stake in a Uranium One, giving Putin control of one-fifth of the uranium production capacity in the US.
That’s considerably more significant that gaining control of the Georgia voters rolls.
Uranium One was so grateful for Hillary’s generosity the chairman gave the Clinton Crime Foundation a total of $2.35 million. Hillary was still a government employee and couldn’t take a speaking fee, but Bill cashed a $500,000 check from a Moscow bank directly tied into the Russian government.
That is a genuine Russian scandal that actually happened.
Meanwhile Trump, Jr.’s meeting went like most of these negative hype-fests do. Rosa Klebb walked into the meeting, excuse me Natalia Veselnitskaya, and all she wanted to talk about was Russian sanctions, not Hillary shenanigans.
There was no Russian help. No Russian collusion. No beef at all.
The meeting was such a waste of time Jared Kushner walked out halfway through and resumed living a normal life. I would recommend obsessed members of the Opposition Media discard their tinfoil hats and do the same.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” He can be reached at email@example.com.