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Opinion

Wineke: Another weekend, another Trump scandal

I wonder if it might be possible to have at least one weekend go by without reading another mind-boggling scandal involving President Donald Trump and his family.

Where to start?

Well, all along the president has been assuring us that, no matter how things look, he and his campaign did not “collude” with the Russians. The Russians may have hacked Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Russians may have favored a Trump presidency, but no one on Trump’s side was involved.

Except that, in June, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, met with a Russian attorney to discuss the idea that the Clinton campaign had financial ties to Russia.

It turned out the Russian lawyer had no such proof, according to Trump Jr., and so nothing came of the meeting.

Naturally, no one ever made the meeting’s existence public.  In fact, on Saturday, the junior Trump even denied the campaign had been discussed.  He said they got together to talk about adoptions.

The three also said the president knew nothing about the meeting, which is believable because no one seems ever to tell the president anything.

But there is no possible definition of “collusion” that would exempt a meeting of the candidate’s son, son-in-law and chief adviser, and the candidate’s campaign manager with a Russian lawyer to discuss obtaining information to derail an opponent’s campaign.

Will this outrage people?  Probably not, since nothing seems to matter anymore.

But it’s still kind of shocking to see Trump’s top campaign people involved in such a direct assault on democracy.

In the meantime, the president went to Germany and, among other things, spent two hours meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Immediately all the wise pundits started speculating on who “won” the meeting and on whether Trump was forceful enough in calling Putin to account for interfering with a presidential election.

We know who “won” the meeting.  The fact that the President of the United States sat down with the leader of a foreign country that intervened in our election is, by itself, evidence that Putin will pay no price for his actions.

Trump’s response, incidentally, amounts to the idea that we should let bygones be bygones and move on to important things.

This is going to be a long summer.


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