Donald Trump can’t catch a break lately. His approval rating is at an all time low. Whatever his goal was with North Korea, he failed. He’s spent the past three days timidly struggling to address the terrorist attack in Charlottesville without alienating his own white supremacist supporters. And now, even as he’s reeling on all fronts, a major Trump-Russia collusion bombshell just landed that involves Vladimir Putin himself.
The latest report is a stunning one, and it represents a smoking gun when it comes to one Trump campaign adviser’s desire to set up secret meetings between the Trump campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin – as well as a campaign manager’s willingness to lie about the entire thing. According to the Washington Post (link), Trump adviser George Papadopoulos pushed the idea of such a meeting on other campaign advisers, and when he couldn’t get them to bite, he spent the next six months emailing them about it. At one point he went as far as to get Russian foreign ministry officials to agree to host a meeting with Donald Trump in Moscow.
The advisers who received the emails, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, may have only rebuffed Papadopoulos’ shady ideas because he was dumb enough to put them in writing. In any case, Lewandowski has since gone on to flat out lie about whether or not he ever received any such communications, which means that he may now find himself under increased scrutiny by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
What’s remarkable here is that the Papadopoulos email are part of more than twenty thousand pages of documents that the Donald Trump campaign has quickly and voluntarily turned over to Mueller at his request. This raises the question of whether the campaign may be trying to suppress emails or documents which show even more egregious instances of attempted collusion.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report