As the investigation into the Donald Trump campaign's ties to Russia continues to develop, the New York Times blew everyone away with a new bombshell report that former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos was the real reason for this whole probe being opened.
The Times reported that Papadopoulos, the a 28-year-old foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, boasted to an Australian diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton during a night of heavy drinking in London in May 2016.
The Times seems to be using circumstantial evidence as the primary reason that triggered the Russian investigation. The Papadopoulos story also clashes with the Times' earlier account that the investigation arose from former Trump campaign aide Carter Page's visit to Moscow in June 2016. They also seem to overlook the fact that the investigation didn't begin with Trump hiring Paul Manafort, who was indicted by a grand jury through the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, in June 2016 when the FBI reportedly had an ongoing investigation since 2014 into his ties to pro-Russian Ukranian politician Viktor Yanukovych.
While Papadopoulos' boastful comments are a concern, and it's good for the public to know anything and everything relating to the Russia investigation, it's a reach at best to say that an investigation determining if a presidential campaign colluded with a foreign government to tip the scales in their favor during an election began off a "he said, she said" scenario.
If anything, it appears that the Times is attempting to move the goalposts to satisfy a narrative that hasn't turned up hard, conclusive evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians. It's a good thing that Mueller is trying to get to the bottom of this, but these stories drawing broad conclusions from leaks, replete with incomplete and conflicting information, run the risk of misleading the public.