Much of the discussion revolving around Donald Trump Jr’s previously undisclosed meeting with a Russian lawyer has been based on whether this is evidence of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. In that vein, CNN’s Michael Smerconish asked this question — what if this was all an attempt by the Russians to put Trump Jr. and others involved in the meeting a compromising situation?
During today’s broadcast of Smerconish, the host presented his theory that the Russian government wanted to gather compromising information, or kompromat, on Trump Jr. based on the way the June 2016 meeting was arranged. Recapping the email chain between Rob Goldstone and Trump Jr. that showed the meeting with a Russian attorney was to gather damaging info on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government because it supported Trump, Smerconish posited that Russian intelligence may have been looking to grab evidence to use later as blackmail against the Trump campaign.
“It’s almost too clean,” he stated. “Written evidence suggestive, not determinative, but suggestive of collusion. Addressed to someone named Donald Trump. And it all begs this thought, could the meeting itself have been a form of compromise? Was Trump Jr. duped?”
He continued, “By taking the meeting he exposed himself, he exposed [Paul] Manafort and [Jared] Kushner to Russian leverage. The meeting should never have taken place. The Americans involved might not have known that, but the Russians surely did. Was the real purpose to document evidence of wrongful conduct and then put it in a file on each of these three Americans?”
Smerconish then went on to discuss his theory with professor Keith Darden, with the two also bringing up the infamous Steele dossier.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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