A columnist and longtime defender of President Donald Trump’s innocence regarding Russia blasted Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday, saying it’s not a good defense that the President’s son’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton wasn’t fruitful.
“I’d say it’s a hell of a defense to say your collusion was incompetent and that it didn’t work out,” Charles Krauthammer said, appearing on Fox News Tuesday. “The fact is, this is not just opposition research. This is not just somebody coming out of the woodwork in Indiana, where the story about the Clintons — this is a foreign power. Not just any foreign power. … This is our most serious foreign adversary, one could argue, in the world.”
He said the Trump team’s defense of there being no evidence of collusion with the Russians to influence the 2016 election was one that he supported for six months, until news broke that Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer to find out information that the Russian government wanted to give the family as a sign of support for the Trump campaign.
“There was nothing to show that the Trump administration was aware of or supporting the Russians interfering in our election and this just showed up today in black and white, released by Don Jr. himself,” he said. “This is not released in the anti-Trump media. So you see it in black and white. This is not to say that collusion is a crime. It never was. But it is to say that the denial of collusion is very weak right now because it looks as if, I don’t know if there’s any other explanation, Don Jr. was receptive to receiving the information.”
Krauthammer said that Trump Jr. claiming he didn’t get any useful information out of the meeting with a Russian lawyer is “not a very good defense.”
“If you get a call to go to a certain place in the middle of the night to pick up stolen goods and it turns out the stolen goods don’t show up, but the cops show up, I think you’re going to have a very weak story saying, ‘Well, I got swindled here,’” he said. “Look this is incompetence, they got swindled.”
“When you get information that the Russians want to dig dirt on your opponent and give it to you and support you in your election, you go to the FBI. You don’t go to the meeting,”Krauthammer said.