Taking It in the Trump: Everything the President Did This Week (July 16th, 2017)
As the Trump administration tries to wiggle out from under the weight of the Russia investigation, Donald Trump Jr. foolishly dumps more fuel on the fire.
Published on July 16, 2017

Ever since Donald Trump was inaugurated, his presidency has been shrouded in controversy, particularly involving potential collusion between his campaign and the Russian government. Although the president has continually attempted to dismiss the constant onslaught of allegations as “fake news,” Trump and his family keep digging a deeper hole for themselves. While the Commander-in-Chief was preparing a trip to France to strengthen his friendship with President Emmanuel Macron, his son Donald Trump Jr. was busy implicating himself in the ongoing special investigation into Russia’s election meddling. In like father, like son style, Trump Jr. headed to Twitter to publish emails, proving that he personally sought out damaging information about Hillary Clinton from Russian officials. His shameless admission has sparked what is shaping up to be the most incriminating evidence leveled against the Trump administration thus far.   

But... But... His Emails?

  • This week kicked off with a bombshell that could become a critical part of the ongoing probe on Russia’s collusion in the 2016 election, this time directly implicating the Trump campaign and family. Last Sunday, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., released a statement revealing that he met with a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya at the Trump Tower back in June 2016. He admitted that he agreed to the meeting because the attorney claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, were also in attendance at the previously undisclosed rendezvous. Trump Jr. attempted to downplay the meeting by claiming that Veselnitskaya’s comments were “vague, ambiguous and made no sense” and his father “knew nothing of the meeting or these events.” However, his shocking admission was only that start of this snowballing scandal. While it might seem strange that Trump Jr. would openly share this damning information, he only did so after discovering that The New York Times was preparing a report on the matter.

  • The meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian contacts was originally set up through an email exchange between Trump Jr. and the president’s former business partner and British publicist Rob Goldstone. The trusted intermediary explained that he had obtained documents that “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.” Goldstone also added, “this is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. responded minutes later saying “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.” Earlier this week, in a shockingly candid manner, the president’s son posted the entire borderline incriminating conversation on Twitter.

  • Not only does the meeting offer the most direct evidence that the Trump campaign was involved in Russia’s interference with the election, it also contradicts a number of statements previously made by the president and his administration. In January, both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence denied that Trump associates had any contact with Russia during the campaign. The discovery also shows Trump Jr. at odds with himself. Before the reason for the meeting was revealed, the president’s son originally claimed that it was about Russian adoption laws and not the Trump campaign. Additionally, in July 2016, he also called reports that Russians helped his father win the election “lies.”  

  • After the groundbreaking report surfaced, Donald Trump seemed to contradict his son’s claim that he was not briefed on these meetings. On Wednesday, the president stated that he was unaware of the meeting with the Kremlin-connected lawyer, but later hinted that he did, in fact, know about it. “They talked about the adoption stuff, which was actually a big thing at the time, but nothing happened... In fact maybe it was mentioned at some point,” Trump admitted.

  • On Saturday, Yahoo News reported that the president’s legal team knew about the infamous email exchange three weeks ago. A new filing with the Federal Election Commission shows that the president’s reelection campaign paid $50,000 to the law offices of Alan Futerfas on June 26. On top of that, this serves as evidence that funds from the Trump Campaign are being used to pay for Trump Jr.’s legal services.

  • Finally, on Sunday morning, Donald Trump chimed in on Twitter to defend his son. Unsurprisingly, he found a way to involve Hillary Clinton in his retort to recent reports.

The Trump Tower Meeting: Who Was There?

The Russian Connection: More Than Meets the Eye?

  • Although the media has been consumed with Trump Jr.’s email scandal, a number of other revelations regarding the ongoing Russian investigation have come to light. For starters, Rob Goldstone, a British publicist who was involved in the controversial email scandal, reportedly said that plans to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow were abandoned due to U.S. sanctions slapped on Russia back in 2014.   

  • On Wednesday, House Democrats sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions inquiring about a major money laundering case that was quickly and quietly settled by the Justice Department. The case involves a real estate company owned by the son of a powerful Russian government official named Pyotr Katsyv. To make the matter more sketchy, Kaysyv’s attorney is Natalia Veselnitskaya, the same lawyer who reportedly brought incriminating information on Clinton to the Trump Tower meeting that was recently brought to light.

  • After Jared Kushner was criticized for failing to list a number of foreign contacts on his federal disclosure form, the president’s advisor has begun scrambling. According to The New York Times, Kushner has updated his form multiple times to include more than 100 names on a list of foreign contacts. After Trump Jr. revealed that Kushner was involved with the recently divulged Trump Tower meeting, Democrats have raised serious concerns about his security clearance.

The Trump Effect: Kid Rock Enters Political Scene, Election Commission Operates in the Dark

Trump Forges New Friendship in France

  • While details on the meeting between Russia and the Trump campaign continued to trickle down, Donald and his wife were off visiting French president Emmanuel Macron for Bastille Day celebrations. Although their relationship seemed to get off to a rocky start, especially after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement, the pair seemed to enjoy each other's company this time around. During a joint press conference, Trump shared glowing compliments about Macron and France, at one point stating “France is America’s first and oldest ally. A lot of people don’t know that. It was a long time ago, but we are together. And I think together, perhaps, more so than ever. The relationship is very good.” 

  • The recent visit to France depicted a stark contrast to their first meeting between Trump and Macron back in May, which was marked by an intense handshake. The Bastille Day celebrations kicked off with another awkward, albeit friendly greeting, as the two leaders shared a lengthy 30-second handshake that transformed into an intimate and seemingly neverending embrace. Check it out below.

Tyler Koslow
Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with an intensive focus on technology, music, pop culture, and of course, cannabis and its impending legalization.
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