While President Trump was attending the G-20 Summit in Germany on July 7-8, information was leaking about his son’s June 2016 meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, presumed to be a lawyer connected with the Russian government. At the time, this story was being promoted by many in the media as a “nothing burger”.
In fact, White House advisers agreed with Donald Trump Jr. to release a transparent and truthful statement to get ahead of the story repeatedly defined as “innocuous”.
Instead, President Trump vetoed that idea. Instead, according to Washington Post:
Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared an article, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”
This issue refers to a 2012 ban by the Putin administration barring Americans from adopting Russian children, an action formulated in response to sanctions that the Obama administration had employed in regarding alleged human rights abuses.
Interestingly, when confronted later in the month by the press about the lengthy topic of discussion with Russian President Putin at the dining table during the G-20 meeting, President Trump told the New York Times:
“I actually talked about Russian adoption with him,’’ he said, in the Times interview. “Which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don had in that meeting.”
Proving to be prevarication, this “adoption” ruse utilized in both instances certainly suggests that the Trump administration is desperate to hide real topics of conversation with Russian representatives.
According to CNBC, referring to Russian-born former Soviet counterintelligence officer and current American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin:
Akhmetshin told the AP that Veselnitskaya brought a folder with documents, part of which “detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee.” She “presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates” and suggested that taking the material public “could help the Trump campaign,” the AP reported of Akhmetshin’s account.
“This could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money,” Akhmetshin recalled her saying, according to the AP.
Akhmetshin added in the interview that he did not know if the Russian government gave the documents, but he “thinks she left the materials with the Trump associates.”
Perhaps, the next story to be revealed about this convoluted subterfuge may include adorable photos of Russian waifs hoping to be adopted by the Trump family.