The incredible chain of events over the past three weeks, which has seen Donald Trump staging a sudden public meltdown about collusion tapes, followed by Trump hiring his son Donald Trump Jr. an attorney, followed by Trump Jr. getting wrapped up in a collusion scandal, now looks like it traces back to one particular flashpoint. Let’s just say that the next family dinner might be even more awkward than imagined.
It’s been known for some time that Jared Kushner told the Feds about Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting when he was trying to straighten out his own legal problems. Kushner had lied about his three Russia meetings when he filled out his SF-86 clearance form, an imprisonable felony. Later, Kushner went back and admitted to all three meetings, including the one Trump Jr. had put together. But now the timing of Kushner’s confession puts the entire timeline into sharper focus.
According to a new CNN report (link), Jared Kushner spoke with the FBI on Friday June 23rd in an attempt at retaining his security clearance. Whatever he said to the FBI on that Friday, it must have quickly gotten back to Donald Trump one way or the other. By Monday morning, June 26th, Trump was using Twitter to randomly insist that there were no “tapes” of any of his people “colluding” with Russia. The next day, June 27th, Trump hired an attorney for his son. Two weeks later the New York Times was reporting on Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting.
So, as has been suspected from the start, it was Jared Kushner who put this entire chain of events in motion. How the story got from the FBI to Trump, or subsequently to the media, is another matter. But because Trump’s meltdown was about collusion tapes, it sure sounds like Kushner told the FBI about collusion tapes. If so, the Feds may now have those tapes. Stay tuned.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report