New revelations from Donald Trump Jr.
On July 14, the New York Times reported a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian operatives that took place about one year ago. Trump Jr. then was forced to acknowledge, that in June 2016, he had met with Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya and two other Russians, who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton’s campaign. This, after repeated claims by the White House and Trump Jr. himself that there had been no such meetings with Russians. He told the New York Times in March 2017 that he had never met with any Russians while working in a campaign capacity. Trump Jr. now released his email exchange about the meeting which totally contradicts his earlier denials.
It all started on June 3, 2016, with an email to Trump Jr. from Rob Goldstone, an intermediary for the Russian group planning the meeting stating: “In the meeting, they offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Best, Rob Goldstone.
Trump Jr. emailed back: “Thanks Rob, I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I’m back? Best, Don
After the NY Times disclosure, Trump Jr.’s first statement about the meeting was: “We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow-up.”
He also stated that no useful information was gathered. This statement seems highly misleading in the light of the published emails. Potential problems also exist for attendees: then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump Sr. son-in-law Jared Kushner who failed to report the meeting on his security clearance form. Non-reporting of this meeting on the security clearance document is a punishable crime. Sometime later, he amended his submission to include the meeting.
It will be interesting what special counsel Robert Muller makes of all this.