If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve known there are tapes of the Donald Trump campaign colluding with the Russian government since Trump tweeted on June 26th that there were no such tapes. It was too oddly specific a denial, and he’s too consistent at giving away his crimes by pre-denying them. So these tapes are going to surface soon, and he knows it. But who all is on these tapes? Which meetings or conversations did they capture? And who has these tapes right now, preparing to release them?
One day after Trump tweeted about there being no collusion tapes, he hired an expensive attorney for his son (link). That tells us that there are tapes of his son and maybe of himself colluding with the Russian government to commit serious crimes. And someone tipped him off a few weeks ago that those tapes are in play. Was it a media outlet that’s since been trying to pin down its story as thoroughly as possible before publishing? Was it a blackmailer making demands that Trump knows he won’t be able to meet? Either way, Trump thinks the gig is up.
There’s also the question of what meetings or conversations were recorded. If this in-person meeting at Trump Tower was indeed recorded, who did the deed? Was one of the Kremlin reps secretly recording it for future blackmail purposes? Paul Manafort is said to have had a phone in his hand the entire time. Did he have Donald Trump on speakerphone? Was the U.S. intel community already tapping Manafort’s phone in mid 2016 as a result of his criminal antics in Ukraine? Or perhaps Donald Trump has his own Trump Tower boardroom wired, because he’s just that paranoid, and his recordings of the meeting fell into the wrong hands.
On the other hand, the Trump team’s clumsy response to the New York Times story about the Donald Trump Jr. meeting suggests that it wasn’t even the particular scandal it had been bracing itself for. So was there another meeting involving Junior? We know that three top members of the Trump campaign agreed to hold a treasonous meeting with the Kremlin without any hesitation, so it’s highly unlikely that this was the only meeting of its type. There are far more questions than answers. All we know is that these recordings exist, because Donald Trump told us so, and that he thinks they’ll surface soon. If you find Palmer Report valuable, make a donation.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report