Shear and Schmidt stampede: On the front page of today's New York Times, Michael Shear and Michael Schmidt report on Donald J. Trump's recent statements about the meeting in Trump Tower with the Russkie lawyer.
We expect to discuss that meeting at length this week. For today, we'll only call attention to the remarkable highlighted statement:
SHEAR AND SCHMIDT (8/6/18): While the president tried again on Sunday to portray the Trump Tower meeting as routine, it is being examined as part of Mr. Mueller’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russians to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign."It is illegal for a campaign to accept help from a foreign individual or government?"
It is illegal for a campaign to accept help from a foreign individual or government. The president and his son have maintained that the campaign did not ultimately receive any damaging materials about Mrs. Clinton as a result of the meeting. But some legal experts contend that by simply sitting for the meeting, Donald Trump Jr. broke the law.
Do we really think that's true? Consider:
If the "help" in question takes the form of information, here's what the Times scribes have said:
It's illegal for a campaign to accept information from a foreign individual.
Could any sane person believe that? And by the way, just while we're at it—isn't that what Hillary did?
Alas! When we humans start killing the pig, our attention to detail goes by the board. Gathering in our tribal groups, we start making ridiculous statements—and everyone swears they make sense.
Over the July 29 weekend, we were struck by a similar statement by The Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand. Now the statement appears in a front-page report in the New York Times, waved into print by an unnamed editor.
Is it illegal for a campaign, or a candidate, to accept information from a foreign individual? Can any sane person really believe that? And isn't that what Hillary Clinton, perfectly sensibly, did?
More to come, all week.