About That Hillary Clinton Dirt

Mark Reinstein via ZUMA

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There’s something about the whole Trump Tower meeting that might be obvious to everyone by now, but I’m not sure it is. It might not even be especially important. For what it’s worth, though, here’s what I think happened:

  • On June 7 Donald Trump said he would shortly give a big speech (“probably Monday of next week”) about all the dirt he had on Hillary Clinton. Trump was almost certainly anticipating that the upcoming meeting at Trump Tower would provide him with bombshell information.
  • On June 9 the Trump Team met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower.
  • We now know what Veselnitskaya was pimping. A few days ago Vladimir Putin himself told us that “business associates” of Bill Browder “sent huge amount of money, $400 million as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Well, that’s the personal case. It might have been legal, the contribution itself, but the way the money was earned was illegal.”
  • That’s it. That was the dirt. This is so thin and so easily disproven that even Trump apparently couldn’t figure out a way to use it. That’s why he never gave his speech.
  • A year later, when the New York Times learned about the Trump Tower meeting, Trump conferred with Putin and then explained that they talked “about adoption.” This now makes sense: (a) the $400 million supposedly came from friends of Bill Browder, (b) Browder is the force behind the Magnitsky Act, which Putin loathes, and (c) after the act was passed, Putin retaliated by banning American adoption of Russian babies. So talking “about adoption” is just a hop and a skip away from talking about that $400 million that Hillary hoovered up in Browder cash.

Long story short, the Russian dirt was a nothingburger, which is why we never heard about it. Trump sure wanted it, but there was just nothing there.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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