Once again, Donald Trump Jr. has tried to own a Democratic politician.
And once again that Democratic politician has turned the whole thing into a face plant for Don Jr.
This time, Trump Jr.'s target was California Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell, whose inadvertent connection to a Chinese spy who targeted him became a bombshell news story late last year and has been a favorite topic of Republican propaganda ever since.
The problem is, Trump Jr. has a record of ties to hostile foreign nationals too—and they're not the inadvertent kind. And whereas Swalwell's incident was accidental and he was cleared of any wrongdoing, the same cannot be said of Trump Jr.,
So when Trump Jr. tried to come for Swalwell on Twitter, Swalwell let him absolutely have it in return. See his response below.
The back-and-forth began with a tweet from Donald Trump Jr. about Swalwell's connection to Chinese spy Christine Fang, who posed as a campaign worker for Swalwell's 2014 congressional run as a part of a sweeping Chinese ploy to get close to up-and-coming politicians of both parties.
Trump Jr. tweeted:
"You think China targeted Swalwell because he's so 'effective' or because they thought he was a moron?"
But when it comes to dalliances with hostile foreign nationals, Trump Jr. has very little room to talk, as Swalwell's response cleverly pointed out.
First, Swalwell called out Trump Jr.'s alleged drug use and, more importantly his deep involvement in Russia's meddling in the 2016 election between Trump Jr.'s father, former Republican President Donald Trump, and Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Swalwell wrote:
"Why did Russia target you? Probably not for coke."
Swalwell then included Trump Jr.'s now-notorious quote, emailed to Russian operative Emin Agalarov in response to Agalarov's offer to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Clinton.
"'If it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer.'"
The contrast between his involvement with Fang and Trump Jr.'s with Russia could not be more stark. Unlike Trump Jr. and several other Trump-aligned figures, Swalwell immediately ceased contact with Fang when the FBI informed him she was a Chinese spy in 2015, and he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The FBI also found no evidence Fang accessed any classified or sensitive information by working for him. The same cannot be said of the Russians and their Trump-world allies, according to the years-long Mueller investigation into the matter.
Nevertheless, Republicans have ceaselessly attacked Swalwell, accusing him of having a sexual relationship with Fang and endangering national security by "sleeping with the enemy."
On Twitter, people cheered Swalwell for putting Trump Jr. firmly in place.
Swalwell is just one of scores of American politicians of both parties who have been targeted by Chinese spies in recent years, including Republican Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and two unnamed Midwestern mayors with whom Fang began sexual relationships.