VideoCast With CNN: Trump’s Latest Russia Trouble; Crowing About North Korea

Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya

I joined Natalie Allen of CNN International on Sunday to explain Donald Trump’s reaction to his latest Russia difficulty.

On Friday, lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya — who met Donald Trump Jr.; Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner; and campaign manager Paul Manafort in Trump Tower in June 2016 to discuss the provision of material damaging Hillary Clinton — finally acknowledged her connection to the Kremlin.

Trump responded on Saturday night at a campaign rally with an explanation which:

1. Implicitly accepting Veselnitskaya’s Kremlin links for the first time, said that Vladimir Putin had instructed the lawyer to make her admission to disrupt American society because Trump is “killing it” with his great success;

2. Said that, despite the Trump Tower meeting, it was the Democrats colluding with Russia;

3. Attacked the Justice Department and FBI for investigating the claim.

There is also discussion of Trump’s attempt to claim credit — “It was all me” — for talks between the two Koreas, sweeping away the local and regional dynamics propelling the discussions.

Maybe Trump’s unpredictability was part of North Korea’s calculations, but the important reality is that it is part of a much wider game with players closer to the scene.

Watch from 14:04:

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. The Veselnitskaya revelation about links to the Kremlin is another nothign burger. The one off meeting was quickly ended when she was unable to provide Kushner with anything useful. The important relevantion that you leave out Scott was that she was linked to Fusion GPS, which was actually providing services to Trump’s adversaries.

    The Manafort story is about money laundering from 10 years ago in which, ironically enough, Mamnafort was working with Tony Podesta.


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