By Daniel John Sobieski
Call it “the Seinfeld meeting,” because the conversation between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer was a meeting with a nobody about nothing, from which nothing resulted. Yet in the Democratic and media (sorry for the redundancy) alternate universe, it is more worthy of attention than North Korea, ISIS, or jobs and the economy.
In a bit of irony, the lawyer with which Donald Trump Jr. was allegedly colluding, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was allowed to be in this country by the Obama administration and its attorney general, Loretta Lynch. Natalia may have overstayed her visa and at the time of the meeting may have been, dare we say it, an illegal alien. Extreme veting, anyone? As reported by Fox News Politics:
The Obama administration granted the Russian attorney who met with Donald Trump Jr. last June a special type of “parole” to be in the United States after she initially was denied a visa, Fox News has confirmed – though it remains unclear whether she had permission to be in the country when she attended the Trump Tower session. …
Well before the June 9, 2016, meeting, she was denied a visa to enter the U.S. in 2015, according to court filings first reported by the Daily Beast. She was granted a “parole” to be in the country from October 2015 through early January 2016. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York told Fox News on Thursday that their office did not extend that status.
“She was not granted a second parole by our office,” office spokesman James Margolin told Fox News in an email. “Her case-related immigration parole ended early in 2016, and it was not renewed by us.”…
“She shouldn’t have been in the country,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. “I think the lady Russian lawyer that was there in that meeting, I’ve written to [The State Department and Department of Homeland Security] to find out what she was doing in the country when presumably either her visa or parole expired.”
Maybe the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton campaign were colluding with the Russians to let her in and let her stay to try to st up Team Trump? Why was she allowed in the country? Why was she allowed to overstay her welcome or “parole”/ Media curiosity about the meeting apparently has its limits.
Some, such as Mark Steyn, have approached the meeting with the trivial pursuit it deserves:
…Mark Steyn dismissed the notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin was pulling the strings behind the meeting of Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.
“The guy [who Trump Jr.] is colluding with is a washed-up pop music publicist for John Denver in the 1980s,” Steyn, a “Rush Limbaugh Show” guest host, said.
Steyn said Robert Goldstone, who he said is now a publicist for a pop star in Azerbaijan, would never be someone Putin would confide in to collude with the Trumps.
Others, including the usually-grounded-in-reality Charles Krauthammer, seem to have swallowed this “evidence” of “collusion” whole:
Charles Krauthammer said the scandal surrounding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton was “the first empirical evidence” of the campaign’s collusion with Russia.
Collusion to do what exactly? Conspiracy to adopt Russian children? Collusion to get front row tickets at that Azerbaijani pop star’s next concert? Opposition research is not a crime and Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting was far less interesting than the fake dossier the Democrats used to fuel their “Russia, Russia, Russia” campaign.
If you want real collusion with a real trail of evidence of people trying to do real things interfering with the 2016 campaign, Dr. Krauthammer, try Hillary Clinton’s real collusion with the Ukraine to derail and besmirch Team Trump. As Politico reported in a story that went nowhere at the time:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
Here you have a meeting between a DNC operative in a foreign embassy receiving materials used to defame and derail the Trump campaign. This meeting had real consequences unlike the Trump meeting.
Was anyone interested? Certainly not MSNBC’s Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell, who were puzzled as to what Donald Trump was referring to when he tweeted about Team Hillary’s collusion with Ukraine:
On MSNBC Wednesday morning, two of MSNBC’s most prominent anchors admitted they had no idea what Trump was referring to, when he tweeted out that the Clinton campaign also sought out information from foreign government officials to help boost her campaign, during the 2016 election. After reading the tweet, Brian Williams asked Andrea Mitchell if she knew what he was talking about. “I’m hoping you can help me decipher this,” he asked. “It’s hard to figure out what this is about,” Andrea Mitchell quizzically responded.
It wouldn’t have been so hard if the crack investigative reporters at MSNBC and CNN had followed the facts and the named sources in the Politico report, instead of unnamed sources who produce fake news about Team Trump, which results in stories being retracted and reporters resigning. As MRC/Neswbusters reported:
Trump’s tweet was referring to a seven-month old report from Politico, which found that Ukrainian officials worked with the DNC to help do opposition research on Trump in order to help Clinton’s campaign. This research was also leaked to several American journalists, according to the report.
Politico found that a veteran DNC operative, Alexandra Chalupa, sought out information to damage the Trump campaign after media reports speculated Paul Manafort had ties to Russia. She sought out help to do this from the Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. and one of his top aides, “with the DNC’s encouragement,” Politico reported.
Chalupa spoke to Politico, which recalled:
She [Chalupa] said that, when Trump’s unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump’s ties to Russia, as well. She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, Chalupa said.
The report went into further detail, but the long and short of it explained how Ukrainian officials admitted to “working very closely” with Chalupa, who then shared this information with the DNC.
One official, Andrii Telizhenko told Politico:
“They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa.”
Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”
Say what? This is what you really call “empirical evidence” of collusion with a foreign government, inviting them to interfere in the 2016 election. Yet the media ignores it, Congressional Democrats avert their eyes, and Congressional Republicans, afraid of their own shadow, let Democratic bottom feeders like Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Chuck Schumer beat up on President Trump without any meaningful response or defense.
Where are the Congressional hearings on Hillary’s collusion with the Ukraine? Where are the hearings on her making it possible for Russian interests to control 20 percent of our uranium supply in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation? Chicken Kiev, anyone?