I was travelling this weekend and had the unfortunate experience of watching an early morning Saturday show on CNN. The premise of at least two of the panelists on the show was that the Trump campaign was far too inexperienced and disorganized to run a complex strategy coordinated with the Russians. I had to restrain myself from yelling at the TV.
Yes, the Trump campaign was woefully disorganized and inexperienced and in no way capable of running a traditional presidential campaign. That is exactly why they brought in Paul Manafort. And who had more experience in using the Russian disinformation system to help sway elections than Manafort. That had been his primary job while working in Ukraine. He would be able to bring in and use that same expertise here in the US.
While Don Jr. is portrayed by his own father as an incompetent child and his defenders as a political neophyte and Jared Kushner simply showed up for a meeting that he had apparently read nothing about and then left when apparently nothing of interest happened for ten minutes, there is no doubt that Paul Manafort understood quite clearly what the Russians were doing there and what they were prepared to offer in the way of assistance to the Trump campaign. There is no doubt that he knew exactly who Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin were and who they represented. And, yet, according to the reports of the meeting, Manafort provided no objection and heard them out.
In addition, there have been numerous reports that Manafort was still in touch with Trump and his campaign even after he had essentially been fired over the revelations of his off-the-books payments received in Ukraine. But by then, the wheels of Russian collaboration were already well in motion.
The fact that the Trump campaign was incompetent and ill-equipped to run a national presidential campaign is exactly the reason why they would collude with the Russians rather than a reason why they didn't.