Welcome to the introductory installment of the “The Three Chumps: Is It Possible?” series. Please make sure to read “The Three Chumps: Follow the Meeting (#1)” before this complementing work.
The purpose of the series will be to examine the June 9, 2016, meeting between Russia and Trump campaign representatives. In other words, assembling that puzzle based on the available pieces.
A brief Summary of “The Three Chumps: Follow the Meeting (#1):
The email chain shows that Russia claimed to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton and a desire to use it to support the Trump campaign.
What makes this claim credible is that the plan is backed and pushed by a Russian billionaire oligarch and his pop-star son. Plus, these same powerful Russians are business partners and friends with Donald Trump and the Trump family.
Donald Trump, Jr. is excited and “loves” the idea of acquiring dirt on Hillary Clinton and even suggests when the information would be most useful to the Trump campaign.
Although the emails answer some questions, they create even more.
However, what is not in question is that Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner (the Three Chumps) were deeply involved in a would-be nefarious scheme.
Is it Possible?
Is it possible that Donald Trump, Jr. was a patsy? Could it be likely that the whole Russian meeting was set-up by Paul Manafort to serve multiple purposes? As the Trump/Russia: Follow the $$$ series proves, Mr. Manafort practically begged to be a part of the Trump campaign. Mr. Manafort has a long and proven record of being extremely good at the cutthroat business of politics. He has worked alongside the most ruthless politicians (and criminals) from around the world. A reminder, many of the ruthless Manafort partners just also happen to be close to both Putin and Russia.
Thus, maybe Paul Manafort used his connections to arrange the meeting through contacts that Trump and Jr. would trust. Is it possible?
This would allow Mr. Manafort to get rid of then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Sure, Lewandowski is a jerk, but that would not be the primary reason for Manafort to want him gone. It is likely that Paul Manafort knew Corey Lewandowski would not willingly engage in Russia’s collusion efforts. Mr. Lewandowski was (and still might be) a Trump loyalist. During his time in the campaign, he was extremely protective of his boss. But it does not appear that Mr. Lewandowski was involved in the Russia/Trump collusion efforts. Make no mistake, he is a Trump stooge, and he defends, denies, and make excuses for Trump, but that could be a function of loyalty and self-denial. However, with all the Trump/Russia drips, Corey Lewandowski has shown a subtle shift to his defense at all cost position.
Getting rid of Lewandowski would also allow Mr. Manafort to gain total power over the campaign (which he did). But since Lewandowski was still around, maybe Manafort used this meeting to test the willingness of Trump’s team to engage in nefarious activity with Russia. Then, after this session, Manafort could have used his new leverage to have Kushner and Trump, Jr.’s assistance in the ousting of Lewandowski. To those that still may not be sold on the possibility:
NOTE: Lewandowski is fired from the campaign less than two weeks after the Trump/Russia meeting.
In fact, at the time of his firing, it is reported that the Trump children and Paul Manafort all wanted Corey Lewandowski fired. They wanted him gone so much–Ivanka is said to have sat down with Trump, Sr. to ensure Lewandowski was fired. So, think about that. Manafort, Kushner, and Trump Jr.–all meet with Russians and then join forces, solicit (or already complicit) Eric and Ivanka both join in to ensure the group’s bidding is a success.
This also might support Trump Jr.’s claim that the meeting was a disappointment. If the meeting was fruitless (as in not getting dirt on Clinton), it makes logical sense that Kushner would make a quick exit. But what stands out as not making sense is Paul Manafort remaining calmly stuck to his phone. This would suggest that Mr. Manafort was possibly being provided coded messages by the Russians to write notes on his phone (which he did). Or maybe Paul Manafort knew that the meeting would not offer anything of value as it was set up by him as a test. Does Paul Manafort strike anyone as a guy that would not get angry if you were to waste his time? Yet, from all accounts, he remained cool and focused on his phone business during the meeting.
Is it possible that Manafort’s test was a way for him to pull in both Trump, Jr., and Kushner to get rid of Lewandowski, gain full control of the campaign, and then team up with the Russians winning strategy to help both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin?
As future articles will show, there is a lot of “coincidences” that happen around and after this meeting. Many of these coincidences do make a strong circumstantial case of voluntary cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia.
To those that enjoyed the first installment of this series, you are going to love future episodes. After all, this is just laying the groundwork for the real hard-hitting stuff that will come later.