This Week in F**king Up: Donald Trump Jr.

He made a bad week much worse.

Welcome to This Week in F**king Up. In a news cycle with no shortage of rake-stepping and self-owns, some people inevitably wind up being the best at being the worst. Taking the inaugural spot in this series is the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who may have just publicly incriminated himself in the possible Russian collusion scandal.

(If you’re unfamiliar with Donald Trump Jr., just imagine the embodiment of the words “Donald John Trump Jr.” Congrats — you nailed it.)

Trump Jr. has been adamant that any allegation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election is partisan B.S.. Ironically, he now finds himself the target of those allegations — and it’s all because he f**ked up. He f**ked up big.–reminds-everyone-how-incompetent-his-dad-s-administration-is
Previously, Trump Jr. claimed never to have set up any meetings with any Russian nationals on behalf of the Trump campaign. But this week, the New York Times published a series of stories confirming that Trump Jr. had met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who claimed to have information damaging to Hillary Clinton. (It was later reported that Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who served in the Soviet military, was also present with Veselnitskaya.) Trump Jr.’s explanation for the meeting changed several times over the course of a few days, but bad as that sounds (we’d go with pretty bad), he continued to maintain that the rendezvous was innocent.–an-email-and-an-idiot–did-donald-trump-jr–incriminate-himself-
Trump Jr.’s narrative blew up on Tuesday when the New York Times informed him that they planned to publish emails revealing what he knew in advance of the meeting. So in a weird move, he tweeted the emails out himself.

As Trevor said, it’s hard to imagine how these records could look worse for Trump Jr. In the emails, Rob Goldstone (the go-between for the campaign and Veselnitskaya) informs Trump Jr., “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. responds to the offer of information with: “If it’s what you say I love it.”

He then forwarded the chain to his brother-in-law and current Senior White House advisor Jared Kushner as well as former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, both of whom went on to attend the meeting. The subject line of this email was “FW: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.”

In a summary that is an extremely charitably view of these exchanges: This is all sketchy as hell.

1. It is illegal for presidential campaigns to receive or solicit support from a foreign national.

2. Given that fact, Trump Jr. could potentially face legal consequences.

Now, as Mike Pence tiptoes away very slowly from all of this, calls are being made for Trump Jr. to testify before Congress. He said he’d be glad to do it. But for now, at least, he seems to have taken a page from his father’s public relations strategy: Keep on tweetin’. We can only imagine how thrilled his lawyers must be about that.