One cannot avoid news of Robert Mueller’s investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegations of collusion between Russian government entities and the Trump campaign. It seems that nearly every day a new story detailing new twists in this saga is published. Luckily, the whole story serves as a goldmine for philosophical and ethical reflection on current events. In this post, I explore the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and other individuals associated with Russia as an example of what philosopher’s call “moral luck.”
On October 30, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner, Robert Gates, were indicted on 12 counts, including money laundering, conspiracy against the United States, false and misleading statements, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The issue becomes more complex when considering the direct relation that the Manafort and Gates indictments have to the Trump campaign, which have not pointed to any verifiable collusion.
Right-wing media instantly took up arms to help the Trump campaign defer and deflect the allegations. These efforts include redirecting blame to the Clinton campaign’s “Steele Dossier” and the wholly unsubstantiated “Uranium One” claims. Attempts at deflecting Russian collusion from the Trump campaign to the Clinton campaign has involved a strategic attempt made by right-wing media sources to sidetrack the Mueller indictments of Manafort, Gates, and George Papadopoulos.