Trump Jr. Meeting Spells Trouble for Trump Team1:55
DONALD Trump Jr has released an email chain that showed him discussing plans to hear damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
President Trump’s eldest son said he was posting the emails “in order to be totally transparent.” The emails with music publicist Rob Goldstone, released on Twitter on Tuesday, show that Mr Trump Jr was told that the Russian government had 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,” the email added.
Mr Trump Jr replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Mr Trump Jr met with Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 at Trump Tower after she promised to provide damaging information on Ms Clinton, The New York Times reported. Paul Manafort, President Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, and Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law who is now a senior White House adviser, also attended the meeting.
Mr Trump Jr said that he did not receive any compromising information about Ms Clinton.
“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information,” Mr Trump Jr said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said the committee has much more information about the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election than what has been reported publicly.
“There’s an awful lot more [intelligence] than that’s even in the public domain,” he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
The British music publicist who arranged the controversial meeting between Mr Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower has made a number of bizarre social media posts — including one of him wearing a shirt that said “Russia” a day after last year’s election.
“Preparing for the meeting,” Mr Goldstone wrote with a note confirming he was at Trump Tower New York.
Then, after promoting Donald Trump’s candidacy through his social media posts, Mr Goldstone posted a picture on Instagram shortly after the November 8 election of him wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “RUSSIA.”
UK’s Guardian newspaper, which published the image, said Mr Goldstone took the image down late on Monday and locked his account from public view.
Mr Goldstone has also posted a number of odd selfies and juvenile jokes while jetsetting around the globe.
“I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that,” Natalia Veselnitskaya told NBC News on Tuesday.
Ms Veselnitskaya said she met with the president’s eldest son in June 2016 to discuss the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which allowed the US to impose sanctions on Russian officials over human rights violations.
In retaliation to the act, Russia banned Americans from adopting Russian children — a move that soured the relationship between Moscow and Washington.
Mr Trump Jr was told by a middle man ahead of the meeting that Ms Veselnitskaya had potentially damaging information on his dad’s opponent — and that it was part of the Kremlin’s effort to help the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported on Monday night.
“It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such an information,” Ms Veselnitskaya said. “They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted.”
Mr Trump Jr has said Ms Veselnitskaya offered intel on Ms Clinton but that it “became clear that she had no meaningful information.”
Instead, he claimed, Ms Veselnitskaya — who’s built a career advocating for the Russian government — pushed the country’s adoption policy during their conversation.
President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his son-in-law-turned-adviser Jared Kushner also attended the meeting, Ms Veselnitskaya confirmed.
Ms Veselnitskaya added that she’s having a hard time adjusting to being thrust into the spotlight.
“Imagine yourself in my shoes. One morning you wake up and all of a sudden you are the focus of all the high ranking, upstream media of the world,” she said.
“To summarise, those were not the happiest days of my life, I have to say. I have to break up my holiday. I have to take a trip back to Moscow because I just wanted to be able to answer the questions myself.”