7 Days, 6 Lies

I dunno, there may have been some more today. I don’t watch Cable Noise, ‘Tween Comedies and Cartoons only (want to know about Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz? I’d be happy to tell you.).

6 defenses of Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting — each more dubious than the last
By Aaron Blake, Washington Post
July 17

Donald Trump Jr. is young

  • Plausibility rating: 1 out of 10. You can argue, perhaps, that Trump Jr. was a *political newcomer* who didn’t know how the whole thing worked. But the idea that he’s just a kid who should be given a pass is a pretty remarkable and subtle admission that this was bad. Also, the law generally doesn’t allow exceptions for well-meaning and youthful adults, and being unaware of the law isn’t a valid defense. We’ll give it a 1 because perhaps it plays in the court of public opinion, but the implication is still that Trump Jr. just wasn’t smart enough.

The Secret Service didn’t stop it

Loretta Lynch let the Russian lawyer into the U.S.

  • Plausibility rating: 1 out of 10. Perhaps Trump’s underlying argument is intact — that it was the *Obama administration* that allowed Veselnitskaya into the United States — but that still leaves the question of why that matters. Donald Trump Jr. took the meeting of his own volition, knowing what he was being offered.

It didn’t yield any useful information

  • Plausibility rating: 5 out of 10. This may actually be a good legal defense when it comes to campaign finance law and the line between intent and actual wrongdoing. But it doesn’t really change the fact that Trump Jr. sure seemed to hungry for such information.

It’s not collusion unless it’s extensive or planned

  • Plausibility rating: 1 out of 10. Conway’s definition of what “we were promised” is quite slanted. And even if it were true, it’s kind of immaterial as to whether or not this meeting broke the law.

Veselnitskaya was just a lobbyist/not a government lawyer

  • Plausibility rating: 2 out of 10. Maybe Veselnitskaya really isn’t working for the Kremlin! But to take her and the Kremlin’s word for it is pretty intellectually incurious and is asking us all to grant a pretty questionable premise. And at the very least, she was presented to Trump Jr. — multiple times in those emails — as working on behalf of the Russian government. So again, we’re asked to separate Trump Jr.’s intent from what he actually succeeded at.

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