Donald Trump Jr. has released an email chain that shows him discussing plans to hear damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
In a statement Tuesday, Trump’s eldest son said he was posting the emails “in order to be totally transparent.”
The emails with music publicist Rob Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information that could “incriminate” Clinton and her dealings with Russia.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee says the report that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer last year in the expectation of getting damaging information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign is “a very big deal.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told CNN Tuesday that his committee, which is investigating possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia, would summon the meeting participants “to get to the bottom of it.”
The New York Times reported late Monday that Trump Jr. was told ahead of time that the source of the information was the Russian government. Schiff said the report, if true, represents “an offer by the Russian government to help interfere in the American election on behalf of one of the candidates” and the first time “the inner circle of the Trump family…have direct contact with the Russians promising” information on Clinton.
In a statement, Trump Jr.’s New York-based attorney Alan Futerfas called the Times report “much ado about nothing.”
A Russian lawyer tells NBC’s “Today” show that she was summoned to Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign to meet with Donald Trump Jr. and asked if she had information on the Clinton campaign. The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told NBC she received a phone call from a man she didn’t know and was told to meet with the Trump campaign. She says she didn’t have information on the Clinton campaign and has never worked for the Russian government.
NBC’s “Today” and MSNBC aired an interview of the lawyer on Tuesday. It’s her first public comment since Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that he made time for the meeting hoping to get information on Clinton, his father’s Democratic presidential opponent.
Veselnitskaya says Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, attended the meeting but left after a few minutes. Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign chairman, also attended but never participated and spent much of the meeting on his phone. It wasn’t clear from the NBC report who in the meeting asked her for information.
On Clinton, she says through a translator: “It’s quite possible they were looking for information. They wanted it so badly.”
The man who organized a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign says it occurred at the behest of a Moscow-based singer with family ties to Trump’s businesses.
Trump Jr. acknowledges he made time for the meeting, organized by music publicist Rob Goldstone, hoping to get information about Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Goldstone told Trump Jr. in an email ahead of the meeting that the Russian government was behind the information on Clinton. The Times cites three unnamed people with knowledge of the email.
Goldstone spoke to The Associated Press earlier Monday to confirm he had set up the meeting on behalf of his client, but he did not disclose the contents of the email described by The Times.