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.
Why did Russia target you? Probably not for coke. \n\n\u201cIf it\u2019s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer.\u201dhttps://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/1481041598670639106\u00a0\u2026— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@Rep. Eric Swalwell) 1641944776
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.
You think China targeted Swalwell because he\u2019s so \u201ceffective\u201d or because they thought he was a moron?— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.) 1641942808
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.
How cute Junior\u2019s panties are in a bundleHis buds were just subpoenaed! A beautiful day in the neighborhood!https://twitter.com/january6thcmte/status/1481021769041465346\u00a0\u2026— cynthiaLea (@cynthiaLea) 1641946240
pic.twitter.com/5XrXj9ZdqQ— \u1e00\u1e46\u1e0a\u1e59\u1e15\u1e00 \u1e7c\u1e15\u1e59\u1e0a\u1e73\u1e59\u1e00 (@\u1e00\u1e46\u1e0a\u1e59\u1e15\u1e00 \u1e7c\u1e15\u1e59\u1e0a\u1e73\u1e59\u1e00) 1641946788
Junior is the all time undisputed No Self Awareness champion.— Mike Paroulek (@Mike Paroulek) 1641945593
Yes I did just take a pic of this and sent it to my husbandpic.twitter.com/oJfIdLOvWz— We are at the precipice!! (@We are at the precipice!!) 1641946657
wasn't the other son interviewed saying such wonderful things about how much money they were receiving as loans, didn't even need to worry about US banks at all. he was so effusive about it all.— Liz (@Liz) 1641946665
He hates that you\u2019re holding daddy\u2019s feet to the fire. \nThey're scared of you Eric!— Joni (@Joni) 1641946013
One word: FABULOUShttps://twitter.com/RepSwalwell/status/1481049855346761728\u00a0\u2026— BmoreGal (@BmoreGal) 1641945688
Oh snap! https://twitter.com/RepSwalwell/status/1481049855346761728\u00a0\u2026— Amys Here (@Amys Here) 1641945572
Junior thinking that tweet was pic.twitter.com/kStFIFxYDV— EdnaK 5G Vax Microchip Support (@EdnaK 5G Vax Microchip Support) 1641945765
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.