If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’re probably unaware that Donald Trump Jr. committed treason. After lying about it and realizing that wouldn’t work, he tweeted out evidence of his guilt — something that for some reason doesn’t have the Right up in arms like it would if anyone else did it.
Trump Jr. received an email from a friend of his father’s who helped the Trump family with the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013. Trump Jr. was told that a Kremlin-connected lawyer was offering him damaging information about Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Russian government.
According to Donald Trump, this is perfectly normal. You or I, he says, would have made the decision to knowingly collude with a hostile foreign government for personal gain.
“I think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research or even research into your opponent,” Trump told reporters at a press conference in Moscow Thursday.
The New York Times reports that this is not standard, and that the only parallel in U.S. history involves Richard Nixon:
There is only one known historical parallel to the Trump campaign’s contacts with the Russians, and it involves Richard M. Nixon. Running for president in 1968, Nixon told H. R. Haldeman, his eventual White House chief of staff, to “monkey wrench” peace talks in Vietnam in order to scuttle any deal that would have handed Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, a political victory in the closing days of the election.
Nixon, a former senator and vice president, had a relationship with the South Vietnamese government. Earlier in the year, he had met with the country’s ambassador and brought along Anna Chennault, a prominent Chinese-American Republican. As the author John A. Farrell writes in his new book, “Richard Nixon: The Life,” which reports the “monkey wrench” instructions, the call between Nixon and Haldeman took place on Oct. 22, 1968, and Haldeman dutifully jotted down what he was told.
A group of aides to Ronald Reagan did meet in the fall of 1980 with an individual claiming to be an emissary from the Iranian government, but that person’s legitimacy was never determined.
The Trump family says that the meeting was not important because no usable information came from it (though Trump himself tweeted about Hillary Clinton’s emails for the first time about 20 minutes after the meeting ended) — like if you rushed into a store with a gun to rob it and had to retreat after slipping on the freshly mopped floor. To Trump, your intentions nor the gun matter — only that it didn’t benefit you.
This sort of thing doesn’t happen with respectable politicians. When a Russian ambassador reached out to John F. Kennedy and his democratic primary opponent Adlai Stevenson in 1960, both candidates rebuked him.
This is not normal. This is not acceptable. Trump must be impeached before the damage he does is irreversible.
Watch Trump talk out of his ass below:
Featured image via screengrab