It’s all about intent

Greg Sargent says it’s not just that Trump admitted collusion in That Tweet, and not just that in the process he also admitted the statement he composed about That Meeting was a lie – it’s also that he revealed why.

But what’s also notable is why Trump tweeted this. He was responding to a report in The Post that said this:

Trump has confided to friends and advisers that he is worried the Mueller probe could destroy the lives of what he calls “innocent and decent people” — namely Trump Jr. … As one adviser described the president’s thinking, he does not believe his son purposefully broke the law, but is fearful nonetheless that Trump Jr. inadvertently may have wandered into legal ­jeopardy.

Publicly, at least, Trump is denying that he believes his son is in legal jeopardy. In his tweet, he claimed that this report is “a complete fabrication,” adding that the meeting was “totally legal and done all the time in politics.”

But the actions of Trump himself — and of his lawyers — cast doubt on this claim, and this points to a huge hole in the current spin that Team Trump is attempting. It’s this: Trump and his lawyers keep claiming there was nothing wrong with this meeting — but they keep lying about it.

The old “I didn’t eat the entire cake, and it wouldn’t be bad if I did eat the entire cake” routine.

It is possible, of course, that members of Team Trump only lied repeatedly about the meeting because they thought it was politically, and not legally, problematic. But it’s more likely that The Post’s reporting is correct — that Trump does worry about legal jeopardy. This is reinforced by the fact that Trump keeps pretending, as he did in this tweet, that the very thing that may make this meeting legally problematic — the Russian government’s role — never happened. And if Trump does recognize that, it would provide a reason for trying to obstruct the probe.

But he didn’t try to obstruct it, and if he did that’s fine.

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