Acclaimed foreign policy writer explains how Trump’s team desperately wanted to collude — but Russia blew it
Donald Trump yelling during the 2016 Republican National Convention/Screenshot

Did the Trump campaign collude with Russian government officials to alter the outcome of the 2016 presidential election?

That question has yet to be answered -- although we do know that the Trump campaign at least made an effort to collude, as evidenced by the fact that Donald Trump Jr. said he would "love it" if Russian officials gave his father's campaign dirt on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Journalist Michael Weiss has posted a new theory on Twitter that exonerates the Trump campaign of directly colluding with the Russians during the 2016 campaign -- but only because the Russians were too inept to get their acts together.

Based on what we know about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya does seem to have spent a lot of time talking about the Magnitsky Act, a bill of anti-Russian sanctions that the Russian government wants to see repealed.

Weiss theorizes that the Russian government tried to use the meeting to lobby the Trump campaign in favor of repealing the act, while at the same time holding out the promise of dirt on Clinton as a way to simply get Trump Jr. to take the meeting.

The result, however, was a disaster for the Russians, as Trump Jr. came away frustrated that the Russians did not give them the information they were seeking at that particular meeting. Months later, of course, WikiLeaks would release hacked emails stolen from Clinton's campaign during the final weeks before the November election -- but Trump Jr. didn't know that would happen at that time.

"The Kremlin via some pretty low-rent cutouts tried to persuade the Trump team into doing something that would benefit the Kremlin, using the false pretense of offering dirt on HRC," Weiss explains. "Is that 'collusion'? No. It is attempted collusion -- dashed-dream collusion -- on the part of the Trumpkins; and a totally botched influence op on the part of the Kremlin."

Read the whole thread below.