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“Gde myaso?” Russian for Where’s the Beef?

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Political campaigns are full of liars and fabulists. From the candidate who promises to repeal Obamacare root–and–branch, to the volunteer who lies about how many doors he knocked, campaigns attract people who are, as Mark Twain observed, “Economical with the truth.”

I know because I spent almost 40 years working in elections all over the US and in a handful of islands.

Think of all the disfunction and outrage you’ve ever endured in any organization where you’ve worked. Then condense the burned microwave popcorn in the break room, the idea–stealing colleague, the boss who doesn’t give the promised raise, the boasting braggart and the job description that changes monthly into a timeframe of only a few months.

That’s a political campaign.

The people outside the campaign who want to “help” are often no better. The relative that meddles, the donor with advice on campaign commercials and the family friend who has negative information that’s going to “blow the opponent out of the water.”

The Trump campaign had to deal with all these annoyance on the largest scale possible.

This brings us to Donald Trump, Jr. He’s a businessman with zero political experience. On June 3, 2016 he gets an email from a music publicist, who tells him a Russian singer says his dad met with the “Crown prosecutor of Russia,” who in turn said he had documents related to Hillary’s Russian dealings that would incriminate her.

The only difference between this and typical campaign fantasy mongering is the information wasn’t for sale.

Media hindsight is currently spinning this third–hand account of potential Russian government “help” as the latest confirmation of the Axis of Internet hacking conspiracy. What this “evidence” really proves is the Russia collusion scandal is the leftist equivalent of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy.

Neither the timeline nor the result stand up to objective scrutiny.

When Donald, Jr. received the initial email Trump wasn’t even the nominee. Instead he was the presumed nominee — although John Kasich had recently stopped taking his medicine and was attempting to organize other bitter–enders in an effort to seize the GOP convention.

Those of you who are counting may list this as the first attempted coup against Trump.

If you are as credulous as the Opposition Media it makes perfect sense the Russian security service, the FSB, would use a music publicist sending an unencrypted email as part of a nefarious plot to derail Our First Female President.

The situation was significantly different from Junior’s viewpoint. The message refers to a so–called “Crown prosecutor of Russia.” But it may as well have been the “Clown prosecutor of Russia.” The office is as imaginary as the documentation.

Google the phrase and you get 40,800 results that refer to the news stories about the email.

For Trump the primary motivation for the meeting isn’t a sit–down with some shadowy Russian. Donald, Jr. is maintaining a business relationship. The singer’s dad is a Russian big-shot Trump, Inc. has done business with in the past. The rule of thumb for operating in an oligarchy is: Keep the Oligarchs Happy! A meeting with a potential crackpot is a small price to pay to stay in the Russian market.

If the Russian “agent” does have information, so much the better. One thing his motivation couldn’t have been was joining some Russian conspiracy to steal the election. That’s because the alleged Russian DNC hack wasn’t announced until AFTER junior’s meeting.

The Russian scandal that had been in the news was in connection with Hillary’s ties to the infamous Uranium One deal.

As reported in the New York Times more than a year earlier, Sec. of State Hillary approved a deal where Russians acquired a majority stake in a Uranium One, giving Putin control of one–fifth of the uranium production capacity in the US.

That’s considerably more significant that gaining control of the Georgia voters rolls.

Uranium One was so grateful for Hillary’s generosity the chairman gave the Clinton Crime Foundation a total of $2.35 million. Hillary was still a government employee and couldn’t take a speaking fee, but Bill cashed a $500,000 check from a Moscow bank directly tied into the Russian government.

That is a genuine Russian scandal that actually happened.

Meanwhile Trump, Jr.’s meeting went like most of these negative hype–fests do. Rosa Klebb walked into the meeting, excuse me Natalia Veselnitskaya, and all she wanted to talk about was Russian sanctions, not Hillary shenanigans.

There was no Russian help. No Russian collusion. No beef at all.

The meeting was such a waste of time Jared Kushner walked out halfway through and resumed living a normal life. I would recommend obsessed members of the Opposition Media discard their tinfoil hats and do the same.

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Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic, entertaining and funny keynote speaker for corporate, non–profit and governmental organizations. In addition to his speaking and consulting, Shannon is an editorial page columnist for Virginia’s News & Messenger. As consultant to The Israel Project, he has made a number of trips to Israel where he worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their efforts to promote a positive image of Israel. Shannon has also conducted media and message training workshops for MFA and Israeli Defense Forces spokespersons along with representatives of various non–governmental organizations. During the UN Court trial in The Hague, Shannon worked closely with the MFA in its international media outreach. Shannon teaches message development, crisis communication and public relations for The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga Command College, conducts the political advertising and message section of The University of Virginia's Sorenson Institute and he lectures on message development, politics and lobbying for The Police/Fire Labor Institute. He is a regular speaker on political commercials, crisis communication and public relations for Campaigns & Elections magazine. He has also addressed the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, National League of Cities, conducted seminars for Information Management and The University of Arkansas – Little Rock and performed as the keynote speaker for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Shannon’s client list includes SAIC; United National Congress (Trinidad & Tobago); Royal Castle, Ltd.; New Generation Imaging; Dry–Clean Depot; Texas Medical Assn.; American Medical Assn.; American Medical Assn. PAC; Indiana State Police Alliance; Minneapolis Federation of Police; St. Paul Police Federation; Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance; The Peterson Companies; Gleaning for the World; various political candidates and elected officials. The work Shannon has done in the radio and television arena has been recognized for both creativity and effectiveness. He is a multiple first place winner in the American Association of Political Consultants Pollie awards. Shannon won back–to–back first place Silver Microphone awards for radio commercials. He is a three–time winner of the prestigious Gold statue at the Houston International Film Festival. Shannon won first place in the Vision Awards for television. He has also won consecutive Silver Microphone awards for best campaign.

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