The Zeitgeist Chronicle: July 10th-July 16th

Trump Jr. grabbed the spotlight and shined it on his own shadowy connections to Russia, becoming the most newsworthy Trump in the world for a week.

Welcome to the Zeitgeist Chronicle. Each edition of The Zeitgeist Chronicle will catch you up on the past week’s most culturally-significant and newsworthy event(s). If you have a fear of missing out, or you just want to know what’s going on in the world, we’re here for you.

Trump Jr. Grabs The Spotlight

(Image via: US News)

This week may be remembered as the only week in American history where Donald Trump Jr. was a bigger story than Donald Trump Sr., which is quite a feat. The adage “the apple doesn’t fall from the tree” is almost too on the nose for this father-son duo, because like his father, Trump Jr. now has his own questionable connections to Russia.

Here’s what we know:

  • In June 2016, Donald Trump Jr. met with a a Russian government attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was presented as having “damaging information” on Hillary Clinton.
  • The “damaging information” was presented as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”, to which Trump Jr. responded with: “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer”, which could have legal ramifications.
  • The meeting was set-up by Rob Goldstone, a British publicist who claims he contacted Trump Jr. on behalf of Aras and Emin Agalarov, a father-son duo who both have connections to Trump Sr. from the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow.
  • Jared Kushner, who is a current Senior Advisor to President Trump, and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, both attended the meeting, after Trump Jr. forwarded the emails to them.

While the meeting itself was a bit clandestine, the cover-up, as they say, is worse than the crime. And you can’t even really call it a cover-up. Trump Jr. discussed this meeting in emails, which are very subpoenable, and released them himself on Twitter in hopes of trying to preempt The New York Times’ reports.

Except, The New York Times was savage enough to release the details in increments, and with each new increment, Trump Jr. revised his story, including details he conveniently omitted in prior accounts. Here is a timeline of the biggest omissions from his perpetually-shifting accounts:

  1. The meeting itself. (He said no meetings with Russians were set-up.)
  2. The purpose of the meeting. (He claimed it was about adoption policy.)
  3. Who the woman he met with was. (She has a connection to the Russian government, which he claims he didn’t know, yet he invited Kushner and Manafort to the meeting.)
  4. Another attendee of the meeting, Rinat Akhmetshin, who is a former Soviet Counterintelligence Officer.

In other words, Junior Trump lied about the existence of a meeting, the purpose of the meeting, who that meeting was with, and who was present at the meeting, but he’d like you to believe there was nothing nefarious going on. Okay. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s more than likely a (Donald) duck.