Tuesday's HOT MIC

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So what's the over/under for the first story saying Trump Jr. committed a crime by releasing the emails the New York Times was about to leak?

It doesn't appear that Donald Trump Jr. did anything illegal.

But anyone who believes it when he's told "I'm from the Russian government and I'm here to help," really ought to have his White House credentials revoked.

Then set on fire.

Then the ashes sealed in a lead urn.

And then the urn launched into the sun.

Trump Jr. can have his access back billions of years from now, when the sun dies to a cold ember.

Assuming, of course, he figures out a way to reassemble the ashes.

Yes, CNN and others in the MSM have lost the ever loving minds in their rush to find Trump guilty of an impeachable offense. But some in the GOP and RWMSM (right-wing mainstream media) are pushing back so hard against that narrative that they're missing an important point:

Here's one of the few times you'll seem me agreeing wholeheartedly with Graham:

 

Who the hell is the "Crown Prosecutor of Russia" as described in the Goldstone email? "The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."

This is how the Washington Post describes him:

Yuri Yakovlevich Chaika. There is no “Crown prosecutor” in Russia, because Russia isn’t a monarchy. (This is perhaps a function of Goldstone’s country of origin.) The Times reports that the reference on Page 4 is to Chaika, Russia’s prosecutor general. Chaika has been in that position since June 2006, when he was first nominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. (He is in his second term, being renominated by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in 2011.)

This is the "high level" Russian official that was passing along Hillary dirt, according to the Times.

Is the "prosecutor general" of Russia a "high level" official? Somehow, I don't see him having any kind of a close relationship with Putin.  And Chaika wasn't even the source of the Hillary dirt. It was his father Aras:

Aras Agalarov. Agalarov is the president of the Crocus Group, a Moscow-based real estate development firm that licensed the Miss Universe pageant from the Trump Organization in 2013 to host its pageant in the Russian capital. This is the point at which Agalarov and his son, Emin, became associated with the Trumps.

Agalarov is mentioned on Page 4 in an email from Goldstone as having met with the “Crown prosecutor of Russia” who offered to provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

Getting down to brass tacks, why would Putin or anyone in his inner circle use these people as go betweens? And why would they contact Trump Jr.? Why not some lower level aide to give Trump Jr. protection -- if they were going to collude to bring Clinton down?

What makes all of this so surreal to me is that we have Russians and Americans openly communicating to commit treason. Sorry but that just doesn't track.

Now where have I heard that excuse before?

I'm so confused.

Not exactly sure what we have here re: Trump Jr. emails.  And I'm not sure the New York Times does either. All they know is that it's Russia, Trump, and Russia...and Trump.

Other than that, there's nothing much, as even they admit:

It is unclear whether Mr. Goldstone had direct knowledge of the origin of the damaging material. One person who was briefed on the emails said it appeared that he was passing along information that had been passed through several others.

Heh. Third- or fourth-hand information. Think of the kids game "Telephone." By the time Goldstone got it and passed it along (perhaps with his own embellishments), you have to wonder how useful it could have been.

Trump's lawyer:

“In my view, this is much ado about nothing. During this busy period, Robert Goldstone contacted Don Jr. in an email and suggested that people had information concerning alleged wrongdoing by Democratic Party front-runner, Hillary Clinton, in her dealings with Russia,” he told The Times in an email on Monday. “Don Jr.’s takeaway from this communication was that someone had information potentially helpful to the campaign and it was coming from someone he knew. Don Jr. had no knowledge as to what specific information, if any, would be discussed.”

Treason? Or gullibility?

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If the future president’s elder son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

So Trump Jr. all but commits treason and leaves an email trail? Really? Or perhaps the Times is overplaying their hand. Was Goldstone really a "trusted intermediary"? Trump didn't know the Russian lawyer from Eve. Did Trump Jr. believe (and do we) that Goldstone was really in touch with the Russian government at a level high enough that Trump believed he was actually speaking on behalf of Putin? Or was he trying to impress Trump Jr. to swing the meeting?

So many questions — at least for a more neutral observer than the Times.

 

Good points, Stephen. I just love the mockery.

People are laughing at this, specifically.

Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.

Twitter users mocked David Brooks for getting distracted by "deli meats." They mocked him for assuming his friend was intimidated by the meats, without asking. But of course, the friend might have been less concerned about the Italian names than about the prices beside them.

Brooks does indeed have a point about artificial class barriers, and he may be dancing around the truth on the sandwiches, but when people read his paragraph, they get a distinct impression of Brooks's view of how "lower class" people think. Here it is.

Iowahawk's take on today's David Brooks column.

Yep.

Really, Hillary?

It's cute how Clinton and her supporters have embraced the "nasty woman" label the way Trump's supporters embraced "deplorables."

The difference, of course, is Trump called Hillary "such a nasty woman" during the heat of a debate. Whether you agree with him or not (most actually do, I think), his comment was confined to only one person.

The utterly shameless Clinton tried to label a huge chunk of the American electorate as deplorable to make them socially toxic and targets of violent left-wing attacks.

That is both nasty and deplorable, IMHO.