On Sunday, the New York Times reported that in June 2016, Donald Trump Jr. met "with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer" who promised him "damaging information about Hillary Clinton," in perhaps the most damning public evidence of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
In response to the Times story, Trump the junior spat out a bunch of different excuses to explain his behavior. First, he said "we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children," then pivoted to asserting he was not representing the campaign, before landing on perhaps the most nonsensical excuse of all, when he claimed "the woman [who he met with] stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton."
You see, he was colluding with the Russians to find out whether Hillary Clinton, known enemy of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was colluding with the Russians! There's no story here!
Untangling all the threads of the controversy over the meetings Trump campaign officials have had with Russians would take all day. But what makes this scandal different from the others is it involves Donald Jr., who has inherited all of his father's bluster and confidence but none of the panache. It's shit like this that makes some people around the Trump family reportedly call him the "Fredo" of the litter.
"Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen," he tweeted Monday morning, one instance in a long line of cases where Donald Jr. didn't know when to stop talking.
For example, in a 2012 interview on Sirius XM, Donald Jr. said he was "totally for" gay marriage because "it just meant more women for me." In that same interview, he also expressed rather liberal beliefs on abortion—"I wish the Republicans would drop it as part of their platform"—and said he identifies as a "closet redneck."
It's not clear what he meant by that, but it might have something to do with his well-documented love of hunting. For Earth Day, he went out to shoot prairie dogs, which even the nominally pro-Trump New York Post didn't bother to defend.
His tweets, unsurprisingly, range from bizarre to incorrect to straight-up sinister, like the time he compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles with a couple of bad candies that "would kill you." He's also notorious for spreading conspiracy theories, claiming CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski tried to blackmail a 15-year-old Trump supporter (Kaczynski didn't, and the Trump supporter Don Jr. is referencing is a middle-aged man). He also promotes stories from InfoWars, a website run by Alex Jones, a 9/11 truther who once suggested that "the government adds chemicals that turn children gay to juice boxes and water bottles."
In one of Trump Jr.'s more bizarre tweet series, "this is why I'm fat," he posts pictures of various foods he eats as an explanation for his weight.
On the increasingly toxic social media platform, he's suggested, "we should send Jerry Sandusky to a women's prison where he would likely enjoy himself a lot less" and made sexual innuendos about War Horse. He's admitted to being "a boob guy" in a tweet about his wife breastfeeding, said he's had "some hookups" he doesn't remember, and also, that he is definitely not his father's favorite child.
In other words, he's precisely the kind of person you want taking meetings with foreign nationals while you are running for president.
Follow Eve Peyser on Twitter.