You can’t spin this, Donald

Donald can deny the “collusion” thing all he wants, to his bizarre and whacko heart’s content, but there are a few things the drip-drip revelations of Mueller’s inquiry have established. Beyond doubt. Beyond hype, or Fox news, or Twitter propaganda.

This latest one, involving George Papadopoulos, is a huge deal if you’re asking me. And it’s that…

1.) Papadopoulos knew that a foreign country either hacked or caused to be hacked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee.
2.) He knew that the country fully intended to release the e-mails in order to damage Hillary Clinton and her campaign.
3.) He knew that it was Russia.

By way of the New York Times:

During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign….Two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts.

…It is unclear whether Mr. Downer was fishing for that information that night in May 2016….It is also not clear why, after getting the information in May, the Australian government waited two months to pass it to the F.B.I. In a statement, the Australian Embassy in Washington declined to provide details about the meeting or confirm that it occurred.

Assuming the account is accurate, and there’s good reason to believe it is, not least because Papadopoulos has already pleaded guilty to crimes related to the inquiry, then we can establish a fourth thing: Russia knew that senior staffers in the Trump campaign were aware of what they’d done and what they’d do next.

To put it simply, Russia committed a cyber theft. They meant to tarnish Clinton with the ill-gotten gains. And members of the Trump campaign were made aware of the effort. But instead of them acting like decent Americans, and telling the FBI what a foreign power was trying to do to their country, they waited. They wanted to see if the threat would become real and damage the opposing campaign, which it did.

So now we know the essential story. If the awareness of the Russian operation got anywhere near Donald Trump, Mueller is now likely trying to find that out.

But even putting that aside, this latest revelation is damning. A decent (perhaps ‘innocent’) human being, having been confronted with this truth, would be shocked that any of this went on his campaign. But of course, for one reason or another, that’s not Donald.

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