CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday expressed complete exasperation over Donald Trump and his aides’ repeated unreported interactions with Russian operatives—including Vladimir Putin—even as his administration withers under allegations of Russian collusion.
Speaking with chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, Lemon was left utterly perplexed by revelations that Trump had a second private meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit, coupled with last week’s news that top Trump officials met with a Russian lawyer to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton during the campaign,
Discussing the meeting between Donald Trump Jr., a Russian lawyer and others, Sciutto pointed out “when you look at the group of people in that room, this was not an insignificant meeting.”
“You have the president's son, you have the president son-in-law Jared Kushner, you have the president's campaign manager Paul Manafort, you have Don Goldstone who we've seen had a previous relationship with the president, Russian lawyer, well-known in Washington circles for lobbying for changes to U.S. sanctions, another Russian businessman well-known in Washington circles for lobbying to change U.S. sanctions, and now this eighth person, as well as a translator,” Sciutto said. “These were significant players.”
“These people did not come out of the woodwork, there were previous interactions,” Sciutto continued. “The significance of those we don't know the extent of it. Donald Trump Jr.'s characterization of this meeting as people we don’t really know came to us with something we didn't know about. that That has fallen, successively, including by an email he, himself revealed.”
The prompted Lemon to let out a nervous laugh. “Is this really happening?” the CNN host asked.
“It is,” Sciutto replied.
Referencing the president and his aides’ repeated assertions there was nothing to the meeting with a Russian lawyer, Lemon dropped a truth-bomb. “Sitting here and watching the video and saying, ‘I don't really know this family, I’ve never really hung out with them, we didn't know the people, I never met with anyone,’ and then everything comes out to the contrary and they deny it,” Lemon said. “I mean, come on. It’s shady.”
“You have a pattern of lack of transparency, right?” Sciutto replied. “Listen, that could go nowhere. We could learn there was no significance to this. but the face is there's a pattern of hiding meetings and interactions and let's be frank, the one we learned about today cannot be described as an insignificant meeting—it is the leaders of Russia and the U.S. who met privately for an hour.”
Watch the video below, via CNN: