Thursday, August 17, 2017

Emails show Trump campaign officials rejecting opportunities to meet with Russia in 2016

This may be the most pro-Trump Russiagate story ever to appear in a major paper. Turns out a low-level Trump foreign policy advisor named George Papadopoulos tried to set up meetings between the campaign and Russian officials starting last March, before Trump had even clinched the nomination. Annnnnnd … some of the campaign’s major players, including Paul Manafort, just weren’t interested. Not only weren’t they interested, they were mindful of proper protocol: At least one advisor noted that meetings with a foreign state would raise Logan Act questions while another mentioned that U.S. allies should be notified before any Russia meetings happened.
WaPo does its best to shoehorn this news into the collusion narrative, noting that this proves the Russian government was eager early on to make contact with Team Trump, but the resulting disinterest within the campaign is so helpful to the president politically that you end up suspecting this was leaked to WaPo by the White House itself. Or by sources friendly to Trump.
Papadopoulos, a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience, persisted. Between March and September, the self-described energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials. Among those to express concern about the effort was then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who rejected in May 2016 a proposal from Papadopoulos for Trump to do so…
On March 24, [Sam] Clovis, the campaign co-chairman who also served on the foreign policy team, reacted to one proposed Russia meeting by writing, “We thought we probably should not go forward with any meeting with the Russians until we have had occasion to sit with our NATO allies.”
In the same email chain, [Charles] Kubic, the retired admiral, reminded others about legal restrictions on meetings with certain Russian officials, adding, “Just want to make sure that no one on the team outruns their headlights and embarrasses the campaign.”
Read the rest from ALLAHPUNDIT HERE.

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