According to a transcript obtained by CNN, the editor-in-chief for Breitbart London seemed to suggest that Donald Trump Jr’s email exchange with the intermediary who set up his meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign was indicative of “collusion.”
The remarks made by Raheem Kassam were made in Breitbart’s internal messaging app Slack, where he said, “So like, this is straight up collusion. Right?”
CNN framed the remarks as being unexpected from someone who runs a “far-right outfit.” But Kassam took to Twitter and said his remarks were being taken out of context.
Breitbart editor in public vs. Breitbart editor in private pic.twitter.com/SasemMirU2
— Jon Schwarz (@tinyrevolution) July 11, 2017
Kassam’s comments came just after Trump Jr. posted his email exchange from June 2016 on Twitter, in which he agreed to meet with someone he’d been told was a “Russian government attorney” about “very high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton.
The transcript reveals that not everyone in the Breitbart newsroom agreed with how to process the revelations. Senior editor Rebecca Mansour reacted by only saying, “Wow,” while Amanda House, Breitbart’s deputy politics editor, simply wrote, “???????” But according to the right-wing outlet’s Washington editor Matthew Boyle, the revelations were much ado about nothing. “I mean I don’t take this as a smoking gun at all. This is silly,” he wrote.
The debate inside Breitbart, was emblematic of a larger sense of confusion that appeared to grip much of the pro-Trump media following the bombshell release of the Donald Trump Jr. emails. Typically, people and outlets that support Trump will coalesce around a message relatively quickly; not this time, though.
Kassam, along with some of his supporters on Twitter, maintain that the private comments were meant as a joke.
He's right guys. When I'm not making serious points in public, I make jokes in private 😱😱😱😱😱😱 https://t.co/QAM79dCD9W
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) July 12, 2017
Featured image: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)