CNN’s Jake Tapper fact-checked a recent statement from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani after he claimed that Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign officials did not know that lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was affiliated with the Russian government when they agreed to a meeting with her in June 2016.
“She didn’t represent the Russian government, she’s a private citizen,” Giuliani said Sunday on “Meet The Press.” “I don’t even know if they knew she was Russian at the time. All they had was her name.”
“Well, all they knew is that a woman with a Russian name wanted to meet with them,” Giuliani continued. “They didn’t know she was a representative of the Russian government and indeed, she’s not a representative of the Russian government. So, this is much ado about nothing.”
Tapper correctly ruled that Giuliani’s statements — that the Trump campaign did not know that Veselnitskaya was connected to the Russian government — were false based on Trump Jr.’s own emails.
Tapper also correctly noted that the actual role that Veselnitskaya had when it comes to the Russian government is not clear based on available information.
While Tapper’s fact-check was correct, it lacked serious context in what was a microcosm of the media’s coverage on the “Russia collusion” that Tapper himself helped set in motion after the Steele dossier was leaked to him.
So, what detail did Tapper fail to report?
Before and after the Trump Tower meeting, Veselnitskaya met with Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm that compiled the anti-Trump dossier for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the DNC.