Email #243: “a speech about Hillary”?

I am concerned that President Trump is not being honest about whether he was informed of his son’s meeting with the Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton acquired through the Russian government. Donald Trump Jr. responded to Rob Goldstone’s request for the meeting on June 3:

“Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?”

At 5:19 on Tuesday June 7, Trump Jr. confirmed the meeting for Thursday:

“How about 3 at our offices? Thanks rob appreciate you helping set it up.”

Later that same evening Donald Trump announced at a campaign rally:

“I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week, and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. I wonder if the press will want to attend. Who knows?”

The New York Times recently asked the President about his announcement in light of what we now know about his son’s planned meeting: “Did you know at the time that they had the meeting?”

TRUMP: No, I didn’t know anything about the meeting…. It must have been a very important — must have been a very unimportant meeting, because I never even heard about it.

NYT: No one told you a word, nothing?

TRUMP: No, nobody told me. I didn’t know noth—— It’s a very unimportant — sounded like a very unimportant meeting.

NYT: But on the date you clinched the nominations with New Jersey and California and the primaries, when you give the speech that night, saying you’re going to give a speech about Hillary Clinton’s corrupt dealings with Russia and other countries, and that comes just three hours after Don Jr. —

TRUMP: Number one, remember, I made many of those speeches.

NYT: People wondered about the timing.

TRUMP: Many of those speeches. I’d go after her all the time.

NYT: Yeah, I know, but—

TRUMP: But there was something about the book, “Clinton Cash,” came out.

NYT: Yeah, a year earlier, though. But you were talking about—

TRUMP: But we were developing a whole thing. There was something about “Clinton Cash.”

Peter Schweizer’s “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” was published in May 2015. It wouldn’t be reprinted until July 2016, and the paperback edition included no new material for a “major speech” on the Clintons. When Trump gave the speech, he cited some passages but then focused on Secretary Clinton’s emails:

“Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments … While we may not know what is in those deleted emails, our enemies probably do. So they probably now have a blackmail file over someone who wants to be President of the United States. This fact alone disqualifies her from the Presidency. We can’t hand over our government to someone whose deepest, darkest secrets may be in the hands of our enemies.”

While the statement does suggest that the President knew that Clinton’s “deepest, darkest secrets” were in the hands of Russia, like the timing of his “major speech” announcement, it is only circumstantial. If so, the coincidence is merely surprising. If not, then the President was personally involved in Russian collusion.

What’s your opinion? And, more importantly, what are you doing to verify it?

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor at W&L University, comics editor of Shenandoah, and series editor of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies. He has published two novels: School for Tricksters (SMU 2011) and Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002); and six books of scholarship: On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Iowa 2019), Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith (with Nathaniel Goldberg, Routledge 2020), Creating Comics (with Leigh Ann Beavers, Bloomsbury 2021), and The Comics Form (Bloomsbury forthcoming). His visual work appears in Ilanot Review, North American Review, Aquifer, and other journals.

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