Keith Olbermann

Screengrab via MTV2/Youtube

Keith Olbermann thinks this year-old tweet is evidence Trump got Clinton dirt from Russia

Is this evidence Trump's attack on Clinton originated with a Russian lawyer? That seems unlikely.

 

Andrew Wyrich

Tech

Published Jul 10, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 12:27 am CDT

Left-wing pundit Keith Olbermann dug up President Donald Trump’s first tweet he wrote following a recently uncovered meeting his son Donald Trump Jr. and several high-ranking members of his campaign team had met with a Russian lawyer—and it seems to be the first time the president tweeted about Clinton’s “missing 33,000 emails.”

But is Olberman’s finding evidence of something nefarious, as he implies, or simply a meaningless coincidence? It seems more likely to be the latter.

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that Trump Jr., former campaign chair Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 who promised to have damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Several congressional committees and the FBI are investigating whether Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election as part of a broader inquiry into election interference. The Times notes that the meetings represent “the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.”

The meeting took place on June 9, 2016, at Trump Tower, according to the newspaper.

Trump’s tweet came in response to Clinton telling him to “delete your account” after he mocked former President Barack Obama‘s endorsement of Clinton.

Olbermann dug into Trump’s Twitter account and found that, on June 9, the president made his first tweet about Clinton’s “missing” emails. Olbermann appears to be implying that Trump was relaying information gleaned from his campaign surrogates in the meeting. However, Trump Jr. said in a statement to Times that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told the team she had information connecting the Democratic National Committee and Clinton supporters to Russia but that her statements were “vague, ambiguous, and made no sense.”

While it is true that Trump had not tweeted about the “33,000” emails before the June 9 tweet, Olbermann’s speculation is misleading. In March 2015—more than a year before Trump’s tweet—Clinton confirmed that her team had given the State Department 30,490 emails out of the 62,320 emails sent from her private email address, [email protected] The remaining 31,830 emails, Clinton and her attorneys said, were not work-related. Although it is unclear where Trump got the “33,000” number—he may have just been rounding up—it seems far more likely that Trump’s attack was based on publicly available information rather than some dirt shared by a Russian attorney.

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*First Published: Jul 10, 2017, 10:04 am CDT