When Donald Trump Jr. recently admitted to meeting with a Russian lawyer during his father's 2016 presidential campaign, he contradicted months of denials from President Donald Trump campaign officials of any contact with Russia while running for the presidency, including false information spewed by White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway.
In an interview on Monday, "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos confronted Conway about Trump Jr.'s recent admission to a meeting with a Russian lawyer on June 4, 2016, as first reported by The New York Times. According to the news report, Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting only after being promised compromising information about his father's opponent, Hillary Clinton. White House adviser Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who was the Trump campaign chairman at the time and later resigned due to his controversial ties to the Kremlin, were also both present at the meeting.
The New York Times noted that this recent revelation shows that, contrary to what Conway and others would have the public believe, at least some of Trump's campaign team were willing to collude with Russia to win the White House.
Stephanapoulos began the interview by playing footage of Conway herself denying any collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia, boldly stating that claims to the contrary are "not only inaccurate and false, but it’s dangerous and it does undermine our democracy.”
"Who misled you, and why did Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort allow those public denials to stand for so many months?” Stephanopoulos asked Conway after playing the clip.
The White House adviser attempted to deflect by mentioning that Trump officials have amended their disclosure forms to "reflect other meetings, including this one." Blaming collusion with a foreign government to win an election on bureaucracy is already pretty rich, but Conway managed to one-up herself moments later.
According to Conway, since Trump Jr. apparently did not actually receive any sensitive information on Clinton during the meeting, he did not collude with Russia. This leaves Stephanopouls to point out the obvious; regardless of the information Trump Jr. did or did not receive, he intended to seek it out, making the meeting "at minimum an attempt at collusion." He asks her again why, amid the profuse denials from the White House officials, Trump Jr. never came forward to clarify sooner.
“The people involved in the meeting could answer those questions better for you,” Conway responded, before repeating her defense of amended security clearance applications.
“But Kellyanne, that’s besides the point,” Stephanopoulos interjected. "He was seeking the information, he was seeking damaging information, that’s why he had the meeting — how is that appropriate?”
In terms of concrete answers, Conway had none.