Somebody Has a Helluva Vendetta Going Against Donald Trump Jr.

Albin Lohr-Jones/CNP via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Let’s review:

Days 1-1000: Donald Trump Jr. says he’s never had any contacts with Russians and is offended at the very suggestion.

Day 1001: Faced with evidence of a meeting, Don Jr. admits that he met with a Russian lawyer but says it was about adoptions.

Day 1002: Faced with evidence of what the meeting was really about, Don Jr. admits that the Russian lawyer said she had some great dirt on Hillary Clinton, but says he didn’t know that before the meeting.

Day 1003 (today): Email evidence indicates that he knew exactly what the meeting was about beforehand. Don Jr. lawyers up.

Here’s the latest from the New York Times:

Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.

Don Jr. is no longer responding to these stories via Facebook or Twitter. His attorney’s statement is here.

There’s something crazy going on here, and not just the fact that Don Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer. Let’s face it: he’s plenty dumb enough to do something like that. The crazy thing is that someone—or multiple someones—really has it in for Junior. They’ve been releasing information to the New York Times in very, very carefully staged tidbits designed to (a) get Don Jr. to lie on the record, and (b) keep the story going. At this point, Don Jr. has no idea what evidence these folks have, so he has no idea what it’s safe to lie about.

But why? Why is someone going after Don Jr.? He’s not involved with politics and Don Sr. doesn’t seem to rely on him for anything. So why destroy him? Is it just a way of going after Don Sr.? If so, who’s doing it?

POSTSCRIPT: The email was from Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who worked with Donald Trump Sr. to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow. David Corn has the whole story here.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend