Josh Marshall notes that maybe the keyest thing here is that 5, count ’em FIVE anonymous WH advisers (presumably not named Trump) gave Don Jr. and company up here.
1. What I suspect is the most important detail in this story is the sources. The Times reports that they got the information from “three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.” They apparently talked after the release of the first story. This is highly, highly significant. Needless to say, advisors to the White House are not in the business of taking highly damaging stories and volunteering new information which makes them catastrophically damaging. The only reason a President’s allies ever do something like that is either to get ahead of something much more damaging or get a first crack at shaping the public understanding of something much more damaging. There’s really no other explanation. We don’t know yet what drove them to volunteer such highly damaging information. Five of them did it. It wasn’t a matter of one person going rogue.
That may indicate that knives are out for Don Jr., but this whole meeting is damning for everyone in the Trump campaign. Another meeting with a Russian agent that was denied for a year. Then one excuse was that the meeting had an innocent subject matter – so then why was it secret for a year? Then it was admitted that Don Jr. went to the meeting because he was promised dirt on HRC, by a Russian national with ties to the Kremlin.
Many are saying that Don Jr. is the Fredo of the family. I think I’ve said that Eric is. Frankly I think they’re all Fredo, including Donald Sr. It’s a crime family of Fredos. That does not bode well for any of them.
Melania and Tiffany may be the only ones to come out of this with the ability to rehabilitate their PR and launch a QVC line.