This is the most baffling day in a long, long stretch of baffling days.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
Who said life for a journalist is a bed of roses?
Donald Trump Jr. is now everywhere in the news after disclosing personal emails showing his willingness to meet with a Kremlin-linked attorney wanting to help then-candidate Donald Trump with his campaign.
But what may have not been covered as extensively is that as he personally released the exchange on Twitter, writer Jared Yates Sexton was anxiously waiting for the opportunity to release his own report on this story.
At the end of the day, what was meant to be a great moment for him and other journalists working on this piece turned into a big disappointment.
That sound you just heard was every Trump lawyer in DC opening the window and screaming.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
The son of the president just released the smoking gun and the people are laughing about it on the news.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
Sexton told his followers on Twitter that he had been chasing the story about Trump Jr. meeting with the Russian lawyer for a year. After putting so much hard work into this one piece, Sexton said he couldn't believe his eyes when Trump Jr. released the “smoking gun” on his own.
I chased this story for a year and he just...tweeted it out.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
While the president's son didn't offer as many details into the story as reporters did, it was the chain of emails that predated the meeting that appear to show Trump Jr. was more than willing to get involved with potential Russian government ties in order to obtain damaging information regarding his father's main opponent. As such, it was this particular exchange that makes this story juicy, and it was Trump Jr.'s decision to release the exchange that “blew it” for Sexton.
Like. I spent hours and days and weeks and months. And his son just, hit tweet.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
I tracked down sources. Followed so many dead leads. Labored over this. And then, he just, you know, tweeted out the proof.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
In his Twitter rant, the journalist called this episode the “dumbest and biggest crime in the history of American politics.”
Others in the press, called it “potentially treason.”
This is the dumbest and biggest crime in the history of American politics. There's not even a close second.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
I'm an independent journalist and I can tell you, there's a lot of us who have just gone after this thing in our free time.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
For the record, I'm beside myself in relief that this stuff is out there it's just...my god. I cannot believe this.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) July 11, 2017
Regardless of how this will eventually play out, it must be pretty frustrating for a journalist who worked so hard and for so long on this story to see his scoop losing steam thanks to the subject himself.
This might just be enough of an incentive for other journalists like him to dig even deeper.