What Are We To Think?The first thing we should think is that there has, obviously, been a whole-lot of lyin' going on. Either there was a conspiracy of silence to firewall the meeting--even if nothing came of it--from Donald Trump--or he knew.
Let The Omnivore ask his Trump-supporting readers: Does it seem like the Trump campaign has/had that kind of information discipline?
If you answered "maybe," you are kidding yourself.
Secondly, it's possible that Pence didn't know--because why would you tell Pence anything? But at this point Pence should know that the Trump-inner-circle sure isn't telling him things. Does that seem to concern him?
Not really. He's thinking he'll be president if he just doesn't "get any on him." That isn't a great recommendation for POTUS--but, Trump-supporters, it's what you voted for.
The second thing we should think is "Who the eff is leaking this shit?" If the story is right that the emails are coming from inside the White House and not, say, from the Russians or Mueller or something (and that seems to be the case) then who is doin' the back-stabbing.
The Omnivore thinks this has Bannon written all over it--but it doesn't make sense for Bannon to shiv Junior for no good reason. It exposes DTJ--also Manafort--but maybe the real target is Kushner? Could be--but it seems a really poor strategy.
The second guess is Reince. The theory is that Reince would rather work for Pence--so he just needs to leak the Donald out of the White House? No. If this is the best he has, he would know it's not going to work. ... unless there's a thread here that unravels to something a lot bigger? But taking a shot at the son doesn't seem like Reince's style to The Omnivore.
That leaves: Kushner.
This might seem unlikely--but Junior is ideologically on Team Bannon. Bannon doesn't like Kushner (they say). Kushner would know about the meeting (he was there) but might have plausible deniablity (he wasn't on the incriminating emails). Kushner might even have the emails.
The Omnivore thinks that Team Kushner is the most likely source if it's someone whose "name we know."
Wild Card: What if it's Ivanka? Ouch.
Finally, what does all this mean? Well here's the big one:
If this all stops here--if there is literally nothing else--then the takeaway we have is that if Russia had come with quid-pro-quo, Junior would have taken the meeting and made some deals (remember: Adoption--in Russian parlance--is sanctions). It's hard to escape the idea that if there was an attempt at collusion by the Russians that Team Trump, as a whole, would've turned them down.
If Russia WANTED To Collude With Trump Seems Like Team Trump Would Go For It, No?
But, of course, it doesn't end here. There were a lot of denials to get to this point. This is enough of a burger (it was called a nothingburger--it's not) that someone--Daddy--might have done some light obstruction to try to keep Junior out of the fire. Who knows?
But while this isn't treason and it isn't evidence of a vast conspiracy, it is the thing that a lot of people on Team Trump were claiming absolutely did-not-exist: meetings with Russians with the aim of the Russians helping Trump win.
That should give Turmp-supporters pause.
But it won't.