This week, The New York Times dropped a potential bombshell: It alleged that Donald Trump Jr., then-Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort and President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met with a Russian government-linked lawyer in order to hear potential dirt about Hillary Clinton. The media immediately declared victory — this was obviously the first step toward establishing the Trump-Russia collusion about which they have crowed for nearly a year.
Meanwhile, Trump issued a series of tweets implying that he created a relationship of trust with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that he might consider the foundation of a joint cybersecurity “unit” with the regime that allegedly attempted to influence the American election.
All of this looks rather suspicious, unless it turns out that pretty much every Trumpian scandal can be explained through a combination of Trump’s ego and the incompetence of those around him.
Here’s the truth: Even if every allegation surrounding Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner regarding this meeting is true, that’s still not evidence of any working relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. At best, it’s evidence that Trump Jr. and Co. weren’t averse to attempts to feed them information. But as all accounts of the meeting state, no actual information was transferred, which means that there’s still no Trump-Russia collusion.