‘It Defies Logic’: Jack Kingston and Angela Rye Tangle Over Don Jr. Russia Meeting


Trump-loyalist Jack Kingston tangled with Trump-scourge Angela Rye on CNN Monday morning over Donald Jr.’s meeting with a Russia lawyer at Trump Tower in June, 2016.

The exchange started with Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow’s comments from the weekend blaming the Secret Service for allowing Don Jr. to have a “nefarious” meeting with Russians.

Kingston maintained that while some of the details of the meeting may come off as disturbing to Trump critics, “nothing came out of” it — as Rye contended that Don Jr.’s intent to obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Kremlin is damning itself.

“The reality is that we know that intent absolutely is a problem. Collusion is the word that has been used, but it’s intent to conspire, to break a federal election law,” Rye said.

Kingston grilled Rye about the details of the law, and Rye said she would tweet him the statute. He also brought up Clinton-allies meeting with Ukrainian officials to obtain opposition research on Trump during the campaign.

After some questioning from CNN’s John Berman, Kingston conceded that Don Jr. was naive for taking the meeting with the Russians to seek dirt on Clinton, but was careful not to call foul.

“The reality of it is that he went into this meeting, he intended to receive this information,” Rye said, before bringing up Trump’s teasing about revelations on Clinton in June. “They planned a press conference about revelations they thought they would receive. That has been corroborated by the…”

“No, those two things aren’t connected to your knowledge,” Kingston interjected.

After a testy back-and-forth, Berman jumped in, and asked why then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort attended a meeting with someone Kingston described as just a “publicist for a Russian pop star.”

Kingston then defended Manafort, arguing the famous practitioner of the political darks arts “would not have walked out of there with information that he felt was in violation of the law and not done something about it.”

“I know that much about Paul Manafort,” he continued. “He would not have played with uranium, if you don’t mind my saying, or anything nuclear like this.”

“Do you really think that they would have had five people in a meeting if this was about colluding with Russia?” Kingston asked. “It defies logic.”

That comment baffled Rye, who got the last word: “He went into a press conference during the summer, asking Russia to find the other 30,000 e-mails. There are a lot of things that your president has done to defy logic. Let’s at least acknowledge that.”

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin