The meeting took place at Trump Tower, and included Trump Jr., the Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, Kushner and Manafort, who was managing the campaign at the time.
It also raises questions about whether the meeting described in the emails was the only one of its kind, or whether it was just the beginning at some level of a cooperative enterprise that also included the Russian government’s hacking and release of emails from top Democratic officials and targeted dissemination of false “news” stories.
Trump Jr. eagerly agreed to meet the woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as part of Moscow’s official support for his father’s presidential election campaign, according to emails the son released on Tuesday. Trump Jr. replied, “I love it”.
Despite the president’s assertion that “everybody would do that”, Trump Jr.’s meeting has raised legal questions, in particular whether it violated a USA law barring candidates from accepting anything of value from a foreign government. Donald Trump Jr.’s interactions with Russians during last year’s presidential campaign were abnormal and alarming.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said “I don’t know exactly what happened, I’d like to know the whole story”. The emails contradict frequent assertions by Trump and his surrogates that there was no contact between his campaign and Russians and in them Donald Trump Jr. expresses eagerness for help from the Russian government in obtaining information about Clinton.
While there’s no evidence Putin hacked any votes – per former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey’s Congressional testimony – he did hack the Democratic National Committee’s email and tried to influence the election. “It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard”, he said.
And Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wis., must finally decide: Is this really okay? He said it was “very important that these professionals do their jobs” in the investigations.
Mr Trump’s presidency offers many benefits for Russian Federation – he seems easier to manipulate, less willing to criticise and punish for their election interference. His own intelligence chiefs – including Wray during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday – have reiterated they believe Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 elections.
Mr. Trump responded after Donald Trump Jr. disclosed a series of emails on Tuesday that marked the clearest sign to date that Mr. Trump’s campaign was willing to consider election help from a long-time USA adversary.
“I said, ‘Did you do it?’ And he said, ‘No, I did not”. And he said no, I did not. The President’s son arranged the meeting.
President Trump granted an interview to Christian Broadcasting Network Founder Pat Robertson this week, which is set to air in its entirety Thursday.
Separately, Trump suggested to reporters aboard Air Force One that he might have learned of the meeting earlier than the White House has said. I think we need dialogue. “We’ll see what happens”, he said. “I had a great. Even if the meeting yielded no real information, the intent was to get information that would aid the Trump campaign”, West noted. “It’s going to be a relationship where lots of lives could be saved, like as an example with the cease-fire, which nobody else could have gotten but me”. I will send the names of the two people meeting with you for security when I have them later today.
When reached by PBS Newshour, the office of Alan Futerfas, Trump Jr.’s attorney, asked that a request for comment be submitted by email.
“Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting”.