Donald Trump Jr. and the Kremlin-linked lawyer he met with in June 2016 to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton both say now that their get-together at Trump Tower was a bust. But Russian President Vladimir Putin may not see it that way, even if Trump Jr. and the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, really do, NBC's Katy Tur said on Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly. Tur spoke with Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo, critical Trump biographer Tim O'Brien, and John Sipher, a longtime CIA agent who was once station chief in Moscow.
The meeting was likely set up to see how far Trump Jr. was willing to go to break the rules to help his father, Sipher said. "In our world, that's clearly a trap; you're clearly setting someone up so that you can determine whether they bite," he said. "If I send you something that that's blatant, and you bite, then I have a lot of information on what I might be able to use next time. I know that if you're willing to step over the line, I can then push a little further." Offering dirt on Clinton was "like human fishing: They're putting bait out there to see if you're willing to swallow it. And the Trump campaign team swallowed it whole." And Putin, Sipher said, "learned that Mr. Trump is willing to compromise himself, to make a choice that puts him in an awkward and potentially vulnerable state."
Caputo, a longtime GOP political consultant with ties to Trump, said that "Donald Jr. made a mistake" in accepting the meeting, but chalked it up to naiveté and a chaotic, neophyte campaign, not willful collusion. "There was no collusion," Caputo told Tur, who covered the Trump campaign for NBC News. "Do you think that place was organized enough to collude with the lunch counter across the street? It just wasn't." Watch her report below. Peter Weber
Why wld Don Jr, specifically, take that meeting w a Russian lawyer and why would Russia target *him*? Our report---> https://t.co/60lqlPGL3n
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) July 17, 2017
Katie Arrington, the South Carolina state representative who defeated Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) in his GOP primary race this month, has been seriously injured in a car crash, her campaign announced Saturday.
Arrington riding with a friend when their vehicle was struck by another driver going the wrong way on the highway. The driver of the other car did not survive. Arrington is expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks to undergo multiple surgeries.
Katie sustained a fracture in her back and several broken ribs, as well as injuries that required Katie to undergo major surgery including the removal of a portion of her small intestine and a portion of her colon.
— Rep. Katie Arrington (@karringtonsc) June 23, 2018
Additionally, the main artery in her legs has a partial collapse and will require a stint. Additional surgeries will be required including one likely today; and it is likely that Katie will remain hospitalized for the next two weeks.
— Rep. Katie Arrington (@karringtonsc) June 23, 2018
"My thoughts and prayers are with Representative Katie Arrington of South Carolina, including all of those involved in last nights car accident, and their families," President Trump tweeted Saturday morning. Bonnie Kristian
A.J. Baker, the adult son of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), has been accused of sexual assault by a woman who shared a flight with him Wednesday.
"On June 20, the crew of flight 1354 were notified of an incident between customers shortly before landing in Boston," said the airline, JetBlue. "The aircraft landed at approximately 11 p.m. local time where it was met by local authorities."
The "matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office," said Massachusetts State Police. Baker's attorneys said he "is fully cooperating and looks forward to a resolution of this matter." Bonnie Kristian
The Pentagon announced Friday it has come to an agreement with South Korea to indefinitely suspend two more joint training exercises. The two countries previously announced the suspension of "large-scale" military exercises following President Trump's promise to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to stop "provocative, inappropriate, and expensive" war games.
"To support implementing the outcomes of the Singapore Summit, and in coordination with our Republic of Korea ally, Secretary Mattis has indefinitely suspended select exercises" that were scheduled for this summer, said chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White.
"This includes suspending Freedom Guardian, along with two Korean Marine Exchange Program training exercises scheduled to occur in the next three months," she continued. "In support of upcoming diplomatic negotiations led by Secretary Pompeo, additional decisions will depend upon the DPRK [North Korea] continuing to have productive negotiations in good faith." Bonnie Kristian
President Trump referenced a Drudge Report headline on Twitter Saturday morning to claim his administration has handled migrant detention better than their predecessors:
Drudge Report “OBAMA KEPT THEM IN CAGES, WRAPPED THEM IN FOIL” We do a much better job while at the same time maintaining a MUCH stronger Border! Mainstream Fake Media hates this story.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2018
While Trump is correct that some recently circulated photos of immigrant children kept in cages with mylar blankets show unaccompanied minors detained by the Obama administration several years ago, more recent footage reveals Trump's own administration housed some children separated from their families the same way. Moreover, illegal immigration to the U.S. has been declining for two decades.
Others of the president's Saturday morning tweets and retweets touched on favored topics including the economy, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, the media, and manufacturing. Bonnie Kristian
Drummer Vinnie Paul, a founding member of the metal band Pantera, has died, the band's Facebook page announced late Friday. He was 54. "Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands Pantera and Hellyeah," the brief statement said. "No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time."
I just woke up in Belgium to the news that my friend Vinnie Paul has passed away. Another metal hero taken too soon. Say hello to Daryl for me. Rest In Peace, my dear friend. @Pantera @hellyeahband #vinniepaul
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) June 23, 2018
So sad to hear of the death of Vinnie Paul. Loved when Pantera did shows with us and in later years Vinnie was always front and center at all KISS shows. RIP and condolences to his family. https://t.co/DaQREBNVW7
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) June 23, 2018
Paul cofounded Pantera with his brother, known as Dimebag Darrell, and vocalist Terry Glaze in 1981, and their work proved widely influential for heavy music in the following decades. The Texas-based group split in 2003. Bonnie Kristian
The military said Saturday it is delivering more than 200 caskets to the North Korean village of Panmunjom, close to the South Korean border, in preparation for the return of the remains of U.S. soldiers missing since the Korean War in the 1950s.
The return was part of the agreement reached by President Trump at his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore. About as many soldiers' remains were returned between 1999 and 2005.
Trump has celebrated the return of the "hero remains" and, implausibly, claimed the soldiers' parents begged him to make this happen. Most parents of American soldiers old enough to have fought in Korea would be well over 100 years old were they still alive today. Bonnie Kristian
Residents in Puerto Rico were left without power for months after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, and experts estimate that around 4,640 people died. But the Environmental Protection Agency thinks it did an A-plus job responding to the disaster.
The EPA is creating "challenge coins" to congratulate itself on its "response excellence," CNN reported Friday.
The agency will spend around $8,500 on a set of coins that will be handed out as collectable awards to EPA officials who were involved in responding to the 2017 hurricane season. The coins will feature the EPA Emergency Response logo and will read "HURRICANES HARVEY, IRMA AND MARIA — THE CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES" as well as "PROTECTING HUMAN HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT ALL ACROSS AMERICA."
Officials asked the contractor who is creating the coins to "convey the sentiment that EPA staff from all across the country worked together to respond to the incidents from Puerto Rico to California (and regions in between)," reports CNN. Despite environmental advocates calling the EPA's response to Hurricane Maria "lacking," an EPA spokesperson defended the coins, saying "the dedicated public servants who worked tirelessly throughout the 2017 disaster relief efforts should be commended for their service." Summer Meza