Donald Trump Jr emails show Russia communication
Publicist Rob Goldstone tells Donald Trump Jr that there is information that is “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.
Mr Trump Jr replies: “If it’s what you say, I love it.”
The emails led to a meeting in New York with a Russian lawyer.
It appears to be the first confirmation that a Trump associate attended a meeting in the expectation of being handed sensitive information from Russian officials.
US officials are currently investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election.
President Trump issued a brief statement in support of his son, describing him as “a high-quality person” and applauding his transparency.
Later, the highest-ranked Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, said he wanted Mr Trump Jr and all participants in the meeting to testify before the panel.
Goldstone, in his initial email to Trump Jr. on June 3, 2016, also offered to “send the info to your father via Rhona,” appearing to refer to Trump’s longtime assistant, Rhona Graff.
Trump Jr. has changed his story several times since the Times first reported on the rendezvous with the Russian attorney. At first, he offered no indication that the meeting was in any way tied to an offer of damaging information against Clinton until The Times uncovered additional motives behind Trump Jr.’s decision to accept the meeting.
Trump Jr.’s attorney has dismissed the revelations as “much ado about nothing” and Trump Jr. said in a statement Tuesday morning that he thought the information being offered was “Political Opposition Research.”
“I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting. The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official,” Trump Jr. said in a statement he tweeted along with the emails. “And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act.”
Veselnitskaya has also claimed the meeting primarily centered on the Magnitsky Act, a bill signed into law in 2012 by President Barack Obama that leveled sanctions on Russian individuals. Putin retaliated against the sanctions by banning the adoption of Russian children by American citizens.