WITH A WING AND A PRAYER – AT LEAST THEY HAVE THE EMAIL AS PROOF HE WAS DELIBERATELY MISLED INTO A TRAP.
The New York Times
Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign
By MATT APUZZO, JO BECKER, ADAM GOLDMAN and MAGGIE HABERMAN JULY 10, 2017
Donald Trump Jr. at a rally in Bozeman, Mont., in May. Credit William Campbell/Corbis, via Getty Images
The Times now has the email to Donald Trump Jr. offering Russian aid to “incriminate Hillary.” His reply: “If it’s what you say I love it.” Read the new article.
WASHINGTON — Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.
The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy.
Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign.
There is no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails. The meeting took place less than a week before it was widely reported that Russian hackers had infiltrated the committee’s servers.
But the email is likely to be of keen interest to the Justice Department and congressional investigators, who are examining whether any of President Trump’s associates colluded with the Russian government to disrupt last year’s election. American intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian government tried to sway the election in favor of Mr. Trump.
The Times first reported on the existence of the meeting on Saturday, and a fuller picture has emerged in subsequent days.
How The Times Connected the Dots
A New York Times investigative reporter takes you through the twists and turns of uncovering the details of a secretive meeting.
Alan Futerfas, the lawyer for the younger Mr. Trump, said his client had done nothing wrong but pledged to work with investigators if contacted.
“In my view, this is much ado about nothing. During this busy period, Robert Goldstone contacted Don Jr. in an email and suggested that people had information concerning alleged wrongdoing by Democratic Party front-runner, Hillary Clinton, in her dealings with Russia,” he told The Times in an email on Monday. “Don Jr.’s takeaway from this communication was that someone had information potentially helpful to the campaign and it was coming from someone he knew. Don Jr. had no knowledge as to what specific information, if any, would be discussed.”
It is unclear whether Mr. Goldstone had direct knowledge of the origin of the damaging material. One person who was briefed on the emails said it appeared that he was passing along information that had been passed through several others.
Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, and Paul J. Manafort, the campaign chairman at the time, also attended the June 2016 meeting in New York. Representatives for Mr. Kushner referred requests for comments back to an earlier statement, which said he had voluntarily disclosed the meeting to the federal government. He has deferred questions on the content of the meeting to Donald Trump Jr.
A spokesman for Mr. Manafort declined to comment.
But at the White House, the deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was adamant from the briefing room lectern that “the president’s campaign did not collude in any way. Don Jr. did not collude with anybody to influence the election. No one within the Trump campaign colluded in order to influence the election.”
The president, a prolific Twitter user, did not address his son’s controversy on Monday, and instead sought to highlight other issues throughout the morning.
In a series of tweets, the president’s son insisted he had done what anyone connected to a political campaign would have done — hear out potentially damaging information about an opponent. He maintained that his various statements about the meeting were not in conflict.
“Obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent… went nowhere but had to listen,” he wrote in one tweet. In another, he added, “No inconsistency in statements, meeting ended up being primarily about adoptions. In response to further Q’s I simply provided more details.”
The younger Mr. Trump, who had a reputation during the campaign for having meetings with a wide range of people eager to speak to him, did not join his father’s administration. He runs the family business, the Trump Organization, with his brother Eric.
On Monday, after news reports that he had hired a lawyer, he indicated in a tweet that he would be open to speaking to the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of the congressional panels investigating Russian meddling in the election. “Happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know,” the younger Mr. Trump wrote.
Mr. Goldstone represents the Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, whose father was President Trump’s business partner in bringing the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013. In an interview Monday, Mr. Goldstone said he was asked by Mr. Agalarov to set up the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
“He said, ‘I’m told she has information about illegal campaign contributions to the D.N.C.,’” Mr. Goldstone recalled, referring to the Democratic National Committee. He said he then emailed Donald Trump Jr., outlining what the lawyer purported to have.
But Mr. Goldstone, who wrote the email over a year ago, denied any knowledge of involvement by the Russian government in the matter, saying that never dawned on him. “Never, never ever,” he said. Later, after the email was described to The Times, efforts to reach him for further comment were unsuccessful.
In the interview, he said it was his understanding that Ms. Veselnitskaya was simply a “private citizen” for whom Mr. Agalarov wanted to do a favor. He also said he did not know whether Mr. Agalarov’s father, Aras Agalarov, a Moscow real estate tycoon known to be close to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, was involved. The elder Mr. Agalarov and the younger Mr. Trump worked together to bring a Trump Tower to Moscow, but the project never got off the ground.
Mr. Goldstone also said his recollection of the meeting largely tracked with the account given by the president’s son, as outlined in the Sunday statement Mr. Trump issued in response to a Times article on the June 2016 meeting. Mr. Goldstone said the last time he had communicated with the younger Mr. Trump was to send him a congratulatory text after the November election, but he added that he did speak to the Trump Organization over the past weekend, before giving his account to the news media.
Donald Trump Jr., who initially told The Times that Ms. Veselnitskaya wanted to talk about the resumption of adoption of Russian children by American families, acknowledged in the Sunday statement that one subject of the meeting was possibly compromising information about Mrs. Clinton. His decision to move ahead with such a meeting was unusual for a political campaign, but it was consistent with the haphazard approach the Trump operation, and the White House, have taken in vetting people they deal with ahead of time.
But he said that the Russian lawyer produced nothing of consequence, and that the meeting ended after she began talking about the Magnitsky Act — an American law that blacklists Russians suspected of human rights abuses. The 2012 law so enraged Mr. Putin that he halted American adoptions of Russian children.
Mr. Goldstone said Ms. Veselnitskaya offered “just a vague, generic statement about the campaign’s funding and how people, including Russian people, living all over the world donate when they shouldn’t donate” before turning to her anti-Magnitsky Act arguments.
“It was the most inane nonsense I’ve ever heard,” he said. “And I was actually feeling agitated by it. Had I, you know, actually taken up what is a huge amount of their busy time with this nonsense?”
Ms. Veselnitskaya, for her part, denied that the campaign or compromising material about Mrs. Clinton ever came up. She said she had never acted on behalf of the Russian government. A representative for Mr. Putin said on Monday that he did not know Ms. Veselnitskaya, and that he had no knowledge of the June 2016 meeting.
Ms. Sanders said at a news briefing that the American president had learned of the meeting recently, but she declined to discuss details.
The White House press office, however, accused Mrs. Clinton’s team of hypocrisy. The office circulated a January 2017 article published in Politico, detailing how officials from the Ukrainian government tried to help the Democratic candidate conduct opposition research on Mr. Trump and some of his aides.
News of the meeting involving the younger Mr. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Manafort blunted whatever good feeling the president’s team had after his trip to Europe for the Group of 20 economic summit meeting.
The president learned from his aides about the 2016 meeting at the end of the trip, according to a White House official. But some people in the White House had known for several days that it had occurred, because Mr. Kushner had revised his foreign contact disclosure document to include it.
The president was frustrated by the news of the meeting, according to a person close to him — less over the fact that it had happened, and more because it was yet another story about Russia that had swamped the news cycle.
All of the stuff about Trump and Russia is a big nothingburger and a witch hunt he is right about that. The problem is that all of the time, energy and attention spent on trying to defend himself and his family against such charges have bled away a lot of Trump support. They got tired of hearing about nothing but Russia and not getting any progress made on real issues. Sure he has accomplished some things but the big issues are still sitting there like dead whales stinking up the White House. The health care bill, the tax bill, [which isn’t necessary actually unless you want to make the one percent pay more tax and since Trump is in that one percent he is in a conflict of interest he won’t do that] and of course the budget. That is one of the things that I am calling him out on.
That is one of the things that I am calling him out on. Trump keeps putting his own interests [the interests of his best rich buddies and family members too] ahead of the 99% of Americans and that is something supporters will not forgive or forget. If you want to be President you have to be President of ALL of the people and not just some of them, not just the ones that support you, are nice to you and give you a good feeling about yourself. When you deliberately close doors in people’s faces as Trump has done time and time again they get the picture, they aren’t the kind of people/Americans that are important enooughfor him to bother with or in fact he has some kind of real grudge against. ie We’re not the right kind of Americans to be welcome in Trump’s USA and no president should ever make any citizen feel that way about themselves.
I gave Trump a break for the longest time, sent him helpful messages to his staff to him to try to help them get past this but instead they have circled the wagons and now no ones is getting in particularly not people who could be really helpful like Robert David Steele an activist that has been reaching out to Trump for awhile but it is their loss now. I tried sending Trump and his team Steele’s contact info and how he could help his agenda but nope. Well by now Steele and Cynthia McKinney have got their own organization in full steam with the electoral reform act 2017 campaign that is already going on in the country and the state convention process so they can try reforming government that way. Get rid of the two party system for number one and go from there. Of course all this ideally should be done before any more elections.
Trump has surrounded himself with two groups of people who couldn’t be more out of touch with the real world, with real people and what they need, generals and billionaires. Almost exclusively that is who makes up Trump’s cabinet and advisors and he doesn’t even seem to notice the total ‘out of whack’ imbalance of this. Most presidents try to find advisors and people for their cabinet in areas they lack and to reflect the broad spectrum of the American public, all races, genders, walks of life and ages and from different parts of the country. Instead Trump is shoving generals and pampered billionaires into offices that they have never had any type of experience in and are totally out of touch with the majority of the public on. It’s not to say those people probably don’t have great talent but it isn’t the kind of talent needed for that job.
There is a disturbing trend in Trump’s politics of late.It was in his campaign promises but no one took him seriously and we should have. President-Elect Trump Promises Christian Theocracy Between his VP and Betsy DeVos and the way Trump has been courting the radical Christian right who he feels are the only ones still on his side and who supported him in the election by doing things like putting prayer back in school, ie Christian prayer [there is no mention of Muslim, Jewish or any of faith’s prayer] He talks about putting back Merry Christmas and Christmas in the White House which for a long time now has only had a Jewish menorrah prominently displayed – a gift from a very powerful Jewish group – lighting that is a big deal while the tree is kind of an afterthought.
Trump is a Trojan horse for a cabal of vicious zealots who have long craved an extremist Christian theocracy, and Pence is one of its most prized warriors. With Republican control of the House and Senate and the prospect of dramatically and decisively tilting the balance of the Supreme Court to the far right, the incoming administration will have a real shot at bringing the fire and brimstone of the second coming to Washington. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act Pence enacted in his own state already had the chilling effect of interfering in the workplace when it comes to religion. Mike Pence’s Religious Freedom Law Continues To Hang Over Indiana The discrimation against the LGBT community whether it is serving them, giving them jobs has become a problem particularly for companies that are global and just happen to have an office in Indiana. There own company by-laws don’t allow discrimination on such a basis but it has crept in anyway. State legislators are thinking they may have to either repeal the act or put in an act that puts in protections under the law. This is just the start of the Pence/DeVos theocracy that they have in mind for the USA.
The health bill if they can ever get it passed as is means the state would no longer pay for abortions period. The next logical step after that would be making them harder to get as would be sex ed and free contraceptives because the religious right thinks those things just encourage sex without marriage. Then a ban on stem cell research because of course you can’t use fetal cells. These kinds of people would be comfortable in the world of the Handmaid’s Tale. Read that book and scare the crap out of yourself.
“In 2002, the United States admitted only 27,131 refugees. It admitted fewer than 50,000 in 2003, 2006, and 2007. As for President Obama, he was slightly more generous than President Bush, but his refugee cap from 2013 to 2015 was a mere 70,000, and in 2011 and 2012 he admitted barely more than 50,000 refugees himself. The bottom line is that Trump is improving security screening and intends to admit refugees at close to the average rate of the 15 years before Obama’s dramatic expansion in 2016. Obama’s expansion was a departure from recent norms, not Trump’s contraction.”
Canada has 1/10 the population of the USA but we absorb 150,000 refugees and another 150,000 immigrants in 2002 by 2016 our total is another 150,000 refugees and 250,000 immigrants. So your reputation for being welcoming is full of crap America, dozens of countries like us are more welcoming to both refugees and immigrants than you are. Would you call us a terrorist haven? Yes, many are Muslim but many are of all different faiths or none at all. You may as well stick a sign on Lady Liberty out in New York harbor MUSLIMS GO HOME
We are not stupid, the average Canadian couple is only having two children, only replacing themselves. Who is going to pay for all our great social programs if all we do is just replace ourselves duh lol. So yes we love to have young people come here with lots of kids hopefully and will work and pay taxes and educate themselves and become the next generation of doctors and so on. They will take care of our social safety net and year after year we will welcome as many more as want to come here. They say Canada will be majority brown-skinned by 2020 I think that is just fine with me. My grandparents came here from Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Romania. Most of the first settlers of the West were white well if the next generation are all brown or black that is just fine with me. We have always been a multi-cultural and bi-lingual country and we always will be. We are proud of it not afraid of it.