President Trump and his White House are still insisting that Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in June 2016 to get dirt on Hillary Clinton was a "nothingburger" that may actually have been about adoption policy but was just normal politics in any case.
Among those who believe the Trumps are whistling past the graveyard is the Wall Street Journal editorial board, which offered some candid advice in an editorial published Monday night: Embrace "radical transparency" on Russia, before it's too late.
"Even if the ultimate truth of this tale is merely that Don Jr. is a political dunce who took a meeting that went nowhere — the best case — the Trumps made it appear as if they have something to hide," The Journal said. "They have created the appearance of a conspiracy that on the evidence Don Jr. lacks the wit to concoct. And they handed their opponents another of the swords that by now could arm a Roman legion." The editorial board continued:
Don't you get it, guys? Special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate intelligence committees are investigating the Russia story. Everything that is potentially damaging to the Trumps will come out, one way or another. Everything. Denouncing leaks as "fake news" won't wash as a counter-strategy beyond the president's base, as Mr. Trump's latest 36 percent approval rating shows. ...
[New Trump lawyer Ty Cobb] and his team should tell every Trump family member, campaign operative, and White House aide to disclose every detail that might be relevant to the Russian investigations. ... Then release it all to the public. Whatever short-term political damage this might cause couldn't be worse than the death by a thousand cuts of selective leaks, often out of context, from political opponents in Congress or the special counsel's office. If there really is nothing to the Russia collusion allegations, transparency will prove it. [The Wall Street Journal]
Trump "will probably ignore this advice, as he has most of what these columns have suggested," the WSJ editors sighed, but if he doesn't wise up and change strategy on the Russia investigation, it will "destroy Mr. Trump, his family, and their business reputation." You can read the entire editorial at The Wall Street Journal.