Can’t you just see it now: Jared Kushner throws a posh party this weekend, where he walks up to Donald Trump Jr., gives him a big, angry kiss and whispers, “I knew it was you, Don. You broke my heart … YOU BROKE MY HEART!!!”
There has been a long-running debate among political observers as to which of Trump’s children is the dumbest. Is it Eric and his constant justification of thewar against all them illegal Messicans? Is it Ivanka, who has managed to be so offensive that Marshalls (whose slogan might as well be, “I can’t believe I spilled this on my dress; wait, there’s a Marshalls on the way”) dropped her product line? Is it Tiffany Trump, the Judy Winslow of the family? Or is it endangered-species-killing, history-warping Trump Jr., whose own fiancee actually thought he might be descended from retarded people (her words, not mine)?
Today we have definitive proof that Trump Jr. has leaped ahead of the pack. He’s become the Fredo of the family, through sheer incompetence and by engaging in an act so brazenly stupid that it transcends betrayal and rests upon the hilltop of political suicide.
This past weekend, the New York Times reached out to Trump Jr. about an upcoming exclusive story about a meeting he attended on June 9, 2016. Trump Jr. claimed that the meeting was a big nothing burger; that he, Kushner and then-Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the request of a mutual friend to possibly discuss “Russian-to-American adoption policy”—which is auto correct for “U.S. sanctions on Russia.”
Then, Monday night, the Times dropped another bombshell, reporting that not only had the Russian-lawyer meeting been about sharing information gathered by Russia to harm Hillary Clinton, but the Russians also wanted to share it with the Trump campaign, and Donnie Jr. knew that before taking the meeting. Just to clarify, taking aid, either financial or material, from a foreign power during a presidential campaign is totes illegal.
Mind you, the Times story was from sources in the White House who claimed knowledge of the email exchanges that set up this meeting. These are sources, not proof. Fredo Trump Jr. could have simply lawyered up (which he did) and shut up (which he didn’t), and the whole thing might have blown over until the next time his father tweeted something crazy. Instead, what does the namesake Trump do?
He releases the entire email chain on Twitter. The whole DAMN thing.
All. Of. it.
An email chain that shows he knew full well where the information was coming from. Featuring such exchanges as:
The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
To which Donald Trump Jr. responded minutes later:
“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Even independent journalist Jared Yates Sexton, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, couldn’t believe it.
I…worked on this story for a year…and…he just…he tweeted it out.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
He had never seen these emails with his own eyes; investigators had been looking for them for over a year; Fredo Trump Jr. could’ve just denied the whole thing and called it #FakeNews (which is what he had been saying about Russian collusion all year). Instead he just blurts out all the damning information like he won something.
Fredo Jr. is the guy whose girlfriend says, “I hear you’ve been texting other women on your phone,” and he responds by saying, “Wrong! I can’t believe you’d say that! I was sending them dick pics,” and then posts them all over social media with a #GameBlouses hashtag.
Russia special investigator Robert Mueller must be looking at all this from his K Street office while doing his best Birdman right now.
Who should he go after first? Jared Kushner, who lied about the meeting on security clearance forms, which is against the law? Put more pressure on Paul Manafort, who, as a campaign manager, knew full well that financial or material aid from a foreign nation is against the law? Fredo Trump Jr., for being so blisteringly incompetent? Or, even better, Donald Trump, whose tweets after this meeting, in his building, suggest that more was exchanged with the Russian lawyer than just recipes and adoption gift certificates? So many options.
Fredo Trump Jr. has become a liability, and we know how Donald Trump treats his family. At some point—maybe not this year or next year, but sometime, and sometime soon—Ivanka Trump or Kushner is going to take Fredo Trump Jr. out on the lake for a conversation, and at least one of them ain’t coming back.
This article originally appeared online at The Root.