APPLES & TREES
Trump-World Kids Are Putting Their Parents at Risk
Most kids can’t help it if Mom or Dad is a crook—but some seem more than eager to join the family business.
Being the child of a con man or crooked politician is usually a pretty sweet gig. A crime scion gets to enjoy the proceeds of the sale of their parent’s soul without the unpleasant business of selling their own off. All the things blood money can buy, none of the blood.
And, for the most part, the kids can’t help it if their dad (or mom) is a crook, or likes to hang out with and do business with and for crooks in the same way that having a father who is a brilliant director does not make you good at acting. Most offspring of scumbags didn’t sign up for it.
But some really seem to revel in it, rubbing others’ faces in it as though their fortune was earned and justice will never come for them. Donald Trump’s circles are rotten with them.
Let’s start with the eldest son of Trump himself, Donald Junior, dumb and angry as a box of burning hair. During the 2016 campaign, he was contacted by an intermediary for a Russian lawyer who wished to set up a meeting between the Trump campaign and a Kremlin-connected lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya for the purpose of receiving dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“I love it,” the eldest and good lord I pray not wisest Trump child said, over email, thus providing the strongest evidence to that point linking the Trump campaign and Russian attempts to mess with the 2016 election. When The New York Times reached out to Junior in advance of the meeting story’s publication, Junior published the incriminating chain of emails himself on Twitter, as if being honest is automatically exonerating. As if, in the midst of a drug bust, a dealer could open up his backpack, offer the officer bricks of cocaine, and count on being acquitted thanks to the rarely used “ya got me” clause in the legal system. To say that this is a way an idiot would behave is an understatement.
This exchange and the ensuing Trump Tower meeting between Junior and a handful of top campaign officials undoubtedly piqued the interest of the special prosecutor charged with investigating Russian interference in American elections. But that hasn’t dissuaded Junior from being a contemptible loudmouth, such as the time he used a photograph of his small daughter to make an inscrutable and incorrect point about socialism on Halloween, hours after a terrorist killed eight and injured 20 people in Lower Manhattan.
On Monday, in the midst of his insistent and enduring douchebaggery, Veselnitskaya said in an interview with Bloomberg News that Junior had, in fact, made some offers to the Russians in the event of Donald Trump’s election. But I’m guessing that won’t keep Junior out of the public eye and off Twitter for very long. He’s too committed to acting like a cartoon rich-kid villain, the sort of person the general public would love to see perp-walking in the sunshine like his dad’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Let’s talk about Paul Manafort’s daughters. According to messages hacked from Andrea Manafort Shand’s phone and posted to the dark web, both of Trump’s former campaign manager’s grown daughters were prone to half-bragging half-lamenting their father’s crime-ish-to-criminal activity via text message to each other and, it seems, basically anybody who would listen. Name droppers, if dropping a name could get the other person arrested.
They spelled out alleged crimes of their dad, his alleged closeness with Trump before and after the post he took with the campaign (that the administration has, since Manafort’s indictment, scrambled to disavow). They’ve alluded that Manafort orchestrated events that got people killed in the Ukraine, called him a “sick fucking tyrant.” “And we keep showing up and dancing for him… We keep showing up and eating the lobster. Nothing changes.”
Well. Something has kind of changed, if the indictments and house-arrest order are to be believed.
On Sunday, Michael Flynn Jr.—another Junior!—tweeted seemingly in response to a NBC News story that alleged that special prosecutor Robert Mueller had enough to indict both him and his father, former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Sr. Michael Flynn Sr. only lasted 24 days as Trump’s national security adviser and was the first in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque parade of bad children to exit the White House.
What Flynn Junior should have done in response to the NBC News story was not respond at all. But what he did was tweet “The SJW’s are out in full this morning… the disappointment on your faces when I don’t go to jail will be worth all your harassment.”
That’s an odd thing to tweet by any stretch of the imagination. But Flynn Junior is a weird guy, prone to sharing unfounded conspiracy theories, just like his dad. And the NBC News story on possible indictments indicated that, like his dad, he could face charges of money laundering and conspiracy, among other things, unless somebody with the Flynn surname cooperates. That means Mueller could be using Junior to get Senior talking, and Junior’s tendency to run his mouth can’t help anybody, unless they want their or their father’s eventual perp walk turned into a viral meme.
With the Mueller investigation, by all accounts, grinding onward, one can only imagine ham-fisted offspring hijinks will get their Trump-world parents in trouble. Ivanka? Eric? Jared, the dark horse? Somebody we haven’t met yet?
As ugly as it is, there’s something kind of delicious about a person who was born on third base thinking they'd hit a triple suddenly getting caught stealing home. If this is a spiritual estate tax, I’m for it.