While we’ve all been focused on the collusion story, Kevin Drum has been wondering who it was that dished the dirt on Donald Jr. That is an interesting question.
The New York Times has now run four stories on this topic for four consecutive days. Let’s take a look at how they described their sources.
July 8th — “according to confidential government records described to The New York Times” and “according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them.”
July 9th — “according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.”
July 10th — “according to three people with knowledge of the email.”
July 11th — no reference to sources.
The only one that gives us any clues is the July 9th story that came from White House advisors. It could be that those advisors are responsible for all four stories or that different people leaked on different days. But even if people inside Trump’s White House are only responsible for one of these stories, that is huge.
First of all, it indicates that at some point at least three people were briefed on the meeting with Veselnitskaya and two others knew about it. You have to wonder how many other people knew, but kept quiet about it.
I’d also like to throw out some pure speculation. The first story was published on July 8th, one day after Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin. Perhaps that is just a coincidence, but I’m not the only one to wonder if there is a connection.
My theory is something real bad happened in the Putin meeting that we don't know about and these leaks are a reaction to that.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) July 11, 2017
Since the beginning of Trump’s time in the White House, numerous “rogue” Twitter accounts have developed. I generally take them with a grain of salt because we have no way of knowing who is behind them. With that in mind, I thought of this when I saw Barro’s tweet:
Rex isn't saying why, but he is very angry about the meeting with Putin.
— Rogue POTUS Staff (@RoguePOTUSStaff) July 7, 2017
That went out the evening after Trump’s meeting with Putin and before the first NYT story was published.
Sec. of State Tillerson is the only person other than Trump, Putin and Lavrov who knows what was said and discussed during that meeting between the two heads of state. To the extent we can believe that Rogue POTUS Staff tweet, he played the good soldier with the press, but was making it known among staff that he was pissed about something that happened.
I’ll let you take it from there. This is just one of those things that I’ll plant in the back of my mind, keeping an eye out for any indication of whether or not there is a connection.