Krauthammer: ‘Bungled collusion is still collusion’

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer says recent revelations make it abundantly clear that the Trump campaign sought to collude with Moscow to influence last year's presidential election.

"The evidence is now shown," Krauthammer wrote in a Thursday column in The Washington Post.

"This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a 'Russian government attorney' possessing damaging information on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonI voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary Meghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' MORE."

Krauthammer said the meetings between Trump associates and Russian officials, some of which were casual encounters in large groups such as at the Republican National Convention, were circumstantial evidence at best but failed to point to any real crime. 

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But he said the new emails are more disturbing, and he described the defense of the meeting and emails from Trump Jr. and "Trump apologists" as pathetic.

He also said it didn't matter if valuable information wasn't passed off to Trump Jr. given the intent of the meeting.

"It turned out to be incompetent collusion, amateur collusion, comically failed collusion," Krauthammer wrote. "That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to play. It may turn out that they did later collaborate more fruitfully. We don’t know. But even if nothing else is found, the evidence is damning."

Krauthammer has been a frequent critic of Trump's and actually said Hillary Clinton was the better person to vote for despite writing that she was also an "awful choice" for the White House.

"As final evidence of how bad are our choices in 2016, Mr. Trump’s liabilities, especially on foreign policy, outweigh hers," he wrote days before the election.

"His joining of supreme ignorance to supreme arrogance, combined with a pathological sensitivity to any perceived slight, is a standing invitation to calamitous miscalculation."

More recently, Krauthammer criticized Trump for his attacks on "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski's physical appearance, saying on Fox News that "presidents don’t talk like this." 

Krauthammer had defended Trump against charges of collusion, but he said he could not do so when faced with emails showing Trump Jr. setting up a meeting with a Russian lawyer promising compromising information on Clinton, he said Tuesday on Fox News. 

"I defended them, because up until today there was no 'there' there," he said. "Well, now there is a 'there.' "