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Politico: Donald Jr. and WikiLeaks Talk Dirty

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Donald Trump, Jr. and Wikileaksf we've learned anything from months of scandal reporting, the Russians set their sights on two types of people wandering the halls of Trump Tower. There were the self-promoters like Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort who they knew would cooperate based on direct or potential payouts.

But the Russians also shopped a second group of Tower denizens, the over-their-heads strivers often compared to the hapless Fredo Corleone. These Fredos—George Papadopoulos and Carter Page—attracted Russian agents like magnets, and were easily manipulated by direct appeals to their stooped egos.

But of all the Fredos occupying Trump world, perhaps Donald Trump Jr. proved to be the easiest mark for the Russians.

First, Junior embraced a gaggle of suspicious Russians for a June 2016 meeting in his Trump Tower office on the pretext that they possessed incriminating dirt on Hillary Clinton. Then, as we learned this week from the Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe, Junior became their boy when WikiLeaks tweeted some DMs at him in the early fall of 2016. The DMs, perhaps authored by Julian Assange himself, connect Junior directly to the Russian thing: U.S. intelligence believes WikiLeaks acted as Russia’s proxy in the 2016 distribution of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.


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