* Coming out of his meeting with Putin, here’s something Trump wanted to brag about:
Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
* Cabinet members like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin were hailing it as a significant accomplishment.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 9, 2017
* After seeing the reactions of dismay and horror from even Republicans, Trump dropped the whole thing like a hot tamale and wanted to talk about something else.
The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't-but a ceasefire can,& did!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
If this guy were in any position other than POTUS, I’d simply laugh off his lies and incompetence.
* The folks at First Read put together a timeline that places Donald Trump, Jr’s meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya in context.
June 7: The 2016 primary season essentially concludes, with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the presumptive party nominees
June 9: Donald Trump Jr. — along with Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort — meets with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
June 9: Trump tweets about Clinton’s missing 33,000 emails
July 18: Washington Post reports, on the first day of the GOP convention, that the Trump campaign changed the Republican platform to ensure that it didn’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces
July 21: GOP convention concludes with Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican nomination
July 22: WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee
July 25: Democratic convention begins
July 27: In final news conference of his 2016 campaign, Trump asks Russia: “If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing”
August 4: Obama CIA Director John Brennan confronts his Russian counterpart about Russia’s interference. “[I] told him if you go down this road, it’s going to have serious consequences, not only for the bilateral relationship, but for our ability to work with Russia on any issue, because it is an assault on our democracy,” Brennan said on “Meet the Press” yesterday.
October 4: WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange says his organization will publish emails related to the 2016 campaign
October 7: Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence release a statement directly saying that Russia is interfering in the 2016 election
October 7: WikiLeaks begins releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta’s emails
October 31: “This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove,” Trump says on the campaign trail
November 4: “Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks,” Trump says from Ohio.
Their commentary is worth noting:
Bottom line: This timeline of what now know is *circumstantial* evidence itself of some kind of relationship that the Trump campaign had with Russian sources.
* My one question about that meeting is: Why is all the attention focused on Donald Trump, Jr? Jared Kushner was in the room as well. Also, Junior and Kushner might be sweating out the possibility of Paul Manafort working out a plea deal with Mueller. If he does, the FBI is going to hear his version of what took place.
* Finally, Sen. Al Franken has a new series of videos called “Boiling the Frog” on climate change. Here’s the first episode.