Wall Street Journal: Trump and family repeating mistakes that 'doomed' Clinton

Wall Street Journal: Trump and family repeating mistakes that 'doomed' Clinton
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE and his family are repeating the same mistake that "doomed" 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate MORE, according to The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

In an editorial published late Monday, the board said Trump should embrace "radical transparency" and get ahead of leaks.

"Even Donald Trump might agree that a major reason he won the 2016 election is because voters couldn’t abide Hillary Clinton’s legacy of scandal, deception and stonewalling," the editorial said.

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"Yet on the story of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, Mr. Trump and his family are repeating the mistakes that doomed Mrs. Clinton."

The Journal noted that Donald Trump Jr. let news of his meeting last year with a Russian lawyer leak without getting ahead of it and then dismissed it as a "nothingburger." Trump Jr. then released the chain of emails detailing his conversations in setting up the meeting with the lawyer, who he was told had compromising information on Clinton. He then failed to initially disclose everyone who attended the meeting.

"Even if the ultimate truth of this tale is merely that Don Jr. is a political dunce who took a meeting that went nowhere—the best case—the Trumps made it appear as if they have something to hide," the editorial board wrote.

"They have created the appearance of a conspiracy that on the evidence Don Jr. lacks the wit to concoct. And they handed their opponents another of the swords that by now could arm a Roman legion."

The editorial said every "potentially damaging" piece of information will surface.

"Denouncing leaks as 'fake news' won’t wash as a counter-strategy beyond the President’s base, as Mr. Trump’s latest 36% approval rating shows," the editors wrote.

Trump appears to realize "he has a problem," they added, since he hired "white-collar Washington lawyer Ty Cobb to manage its Russia defense."

"Mr. Cobb has an opening to change the Trump strategy to one with the best chance of saving his Presidency: radical transparency," the editorial said.

"Release everything to the public ahead of the inevitable leaks. Mr. Cobb and his team should tell every Trump family member, campaign operative and White House aide to disclose every detail that might be relevant to the Russian investigations."

Transparency will prove if there really is nothing to the investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling, the editorial board said.
 
"Americans will give Mr. Trump credit for trusting their ability to make a fair judgment," they wrote. "Pre-emptive disclosure is the only chance to contain the political harm from future revelations.
 
"This is the opposite of the Clinton stonewall strategy, which should be instructive."
 
The editorial board said it expects Trump will ignore its advice. Trump "somehow seems to believe that his outsize personality and social-media following make him larger than the Presidency," it wrote.
 
"He’s wrong. He and his family seem oblivious to the brutal realities of Washington politics," the editorial said.
 
"Those realities will destroy Mr. Trump, his family and their business reputation unless they change their strategy toward the Russia probe. They don’t have much more time to do it."