Archive for Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Emails: Trump Jr. embraced help said to be from Kremlin

In this May 8, 2017 file photo, Donald Trump Jr. speaks in Indianapolis. President Donald Trump’s eldest son acknowledged Monday, July 10, 2017, that he met a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign to hear information about his father’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

In this May 8, 2017 file photo, Donald Trump Jr. speaks in Indianapolis. President Donald Trump’s eldest son acknowledged Monday, July 10, 2017, that he met a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign to hear information about his father’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

July 11, 2017, 10:10 a.m. Updated July 11, 2017, 1:44 p.m.

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— Donald Trump Jr. eagerly accepted help from what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid his father's campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton, according to emails he released publicly on Tuesday.

The email exchange posted to Twitter by Donald Trump's eldest son represents the clearest sign to date that members of the president's inner circle were willing to meet during the campaign with Russians who wanted Trump to prevail. U.S. intelligence agencies have said the Russian government meddled in the election through hacking to aid Trump.

The emails show Trump Jr. conversing with a music publicist who wanted him to meet with a lawyer from Moscow. The publicist describes the lawyer as a "Russian government attorney" who has dirt on Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." In one response, Trump Jr. says he would "love" to hear more.

Trump Jr., who was deeply involved in his father's presidential campaign, released the emails along with a statement describing the disclosure as an effort "to be totally transparent." The emails with publicist Rob Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information that could "incriminate" Clinton and her dealings with Russia.

Hours after the emails were released, the president rose to his son's defense.

"My son is a high quality person and I applaud his transparency," Trump said Tuesday in a statement read to reporters by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She referred all questions about the emails to outside lawyers hired by the president's son.

The messages were the latest disclosure to roil the ongoing investigation into potential coordination between Trump's campaign and Russia, which U.S. intelligence agencies have said sought to influence the outcome of the election in Trump's favor. As congressional committees and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, investigate, the emails will almost certainly be reviewed for any signs of potential campaign collusion with the Kremlin, which the White House has repeatedly denied.

Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the emails, citing the ongoing investigation.

The White House didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Vice President Mike Pence wasn't aware of the meeting, his spokesman Marc Lotter said in a statement that stressed the meeting took place before he was part of the campaign.

The actions described in Trump Jr.'s emails brought swift and firm reaction from Democrats, including a key member of the Senate intelligence committee.

"These emails show there is no longer a question of whether this campaign sought to collude with a hostile foreign power to subvert America's democracy," said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Yet other lawmakers urged caution. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who sits on the intelligence committee, said the emails "certainly raise questions" but added "we're seeing only part of the picture." She called on the committee to interview Trump Jr. and those involved in the meeting.

In the emails, Goldstone wrote to Trump Jr. that the information "would be very useful to your father." Goldstone was working to connect Trump Jr. to Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, who later met with Trump Jr. in New York at Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya has denied that she ever worked for the Russian government.

"If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer," Trump Jr. replied to Goldstone in one of a series of email exchanges the younger Trump posted to Twitter.

The emails, dated early June, show Goldstone telling Trump that singer Emin Agalarov and his father, Moscow-based developer Aras Agalarov, had "helped along" the Russian government's support for Trump. The elder Agalarov was involved with Trump in hosting the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. The two men also had preliminary discussions about building a Trump Tower in Moscow that fell through. Trump also appeared in a music video with the younger Agalarov.

In his email, Goldstone says that the "Crown prosecutor of Russia" offered to provide the information on Clinton to the Trump campaign in a meeting with Aras Agalarov. There is no such royal title in the Russian Federation, but Goldstone — who is British — may have been referring to the title given to state prosecutors in the United Kingdom.

In Russia, the top justice official is Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, the equivalent of the attorney general in the United States. Chaika is longtime confidant of Vladimir Putin who was directly appointed by the Russian president.

Representatives for the Agalarovs didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Attempts to reach Chaika at his office Tuesday were unsuccessful.

In one of the emails, Goldstone said he could send the information about Clinton to Trump's father first directly "via Rhona," an apparent reference to the elder Trump's longtime assistant, Rhona Graff, from his days at the helm of the Trump Organization.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, Goldstone described the information as purported evidence of illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee. It's what, if any, proof Veselnitskaya provided during the meeting.

The email release followed days of evolving accounts from Trump Jr. about the nature of the meeting and its purpose. The president's son posted the emails only after they were obtained by The New York Times.

On Saturday, Trump Jr. described the encounter as being a "short introductory meeting" focused on the disbanded program that had allowed American adoptions of Russian children. Moscow ended the adoptions in response to Magnitsky Act sanctions created in response to alleged human rights violations in Russia.

A day later, Trump Jr. changed his account, acknowledging that he was told beforehand that Veselnitskaya might have information "helpful" to the Trump campaign, and was told by her during the meeting that she had something about Clinton.

In his third description of what occurred, on Tuesday, Trump Jr. said he had believed the information he would hear about Clinton would be political opposition research. He said that he first wanted to speak by phone, but that when that didn't work out, he was told that the attorney would be in New York "and I decided to take the meeting."

"The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official," Trump Jr. said in the Tuesday statement. "And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act."

The Trump Organization has confirmed the authenticity of Trump Jr. posts on Twitter releasing the email chain.

None by Donald Trump Jr.

None by Donald Trump Jr.

Comments

Harlan Hobbs 1 month, 1 week ago

What a bunch of hooey. This headline is nothing but liberal propaganda. Now that he released his e-mail chain, why doesn't Hillary release all the e-mails she deleted?

Obviously, no aid was given as the lady was a clear phony with no information. Meanwhile, the Dems were trying to dig up dirt on anyone they could, including Bernie Sanders and anyone they thought might get in their way.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 month, 1 week ago

You destroyed your veracity when you uttered the "Bobs" invective "liberal".

IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO BE OF A LIBERAL MINDSET!! It is one very real and necessary thought process to obstruct the fascist conservatives in our society.

Justin Hoffman 1 month, 1 week ago

Like good ol Rush said today, everyday the liberals have a new "bombshell" with Russia/Trump. Everyday they find the smoking gun. "This is the one that brings him down!" they yell. Yet everyday nothing comes from it, nobody finds anything and we all move on. Like today.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 month, 1 week ago

"good ol Rush" is the prototype for the American Nazi Party. His stupidity, incredible blather and ignorance spreading infect a seriously large segment of the American citizenry. The disease of the prototype " conservative" radio talk show idiot.....

A teacher once told me that "Everyone in the society serves a purpose.....even if it is nothing more than a bad example."

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 month, 1 week ago

Finallly....the real truth about the Russian meddling in the fraudulent U.S. election of 2016 is starting to seep out.

Pay attention.

The Soviet Russians are doing all they can to damage, destroy and eliminate our democracy. Anyone who believes otherwise is contributing to the desired fall of western democracy in our country, the world and in our time. And Trump's collusion with Putin is leading the way.

Armen Kurdian 1 month, 1 week ago

As I'm sure you all know, finding dirt on your opponent is (sadly) a time-honored tradition that seems to be more the rule than the exception lately. There seems to be enough to prove naivety here, and some poor judgment on Trump Jr.'s part. The allure of getting something on HRC seems to have overridden any alarm bells that should have gone off when he should have asked himself why Russians were approaching him with information. But he got nothing, nothing came of it, and it was done.

Not a nothing-burger, not a smoking gun, probably not illegal, should be a hard lesson for him though.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

Naivete' is not a justification, it's an excuse. Just as the Party is now justifying Chump's lack of know-how as a result of his being new to politics, Chump, Jr. is being excused from his actions as a naive little boy. Well, Armen, that is not how we want our nation governed, now, is it? Do you want to have as head of state and his advisers to operate in a knee-jerk, unthinking, ideologically-guided way, or do we want them to consider the ramifications of every action they undertake?

And, too, "probably not illegal" is the same as "maybe illegal", in my book. The proof is only going to be found through investigation, which is part of the American system of justice. Might be good if you all reviewed it.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 month ago

So Armen, if a cop pulls you over for speeding, can you naively say "I just didn't know the speed limit."?

Michael Kort 1 month, 1 week ago

Trump who complains of fake news created lots of just that for five years during the Obama Presidency by claiming that Obama was not a US citizen !

How much of the countries time and attention did that waist ?.......and Trump never apologised to Obama for his slander....... or to the American people for lying to them !

Like father like son..........they lie so fast and furiously that they can't keep their lying stories straight !

Is this the next KGB game after getting Kushner to meet with a Sanctioned Russian Banker which is illegal if he was looking to do loan $ business with them and it is no secret that Kushner has been looking for a cash bailout for 666 Fifth Ave........Were the Russians seeking help in lifting sanctions against themselves, in exchange for a loan ? ........or did they seek leverage against Trumps family for future use........ because they know stupid when they see it for what it is !

Bob Summers 1 month, 1 week ago

This sounds like a scene in a Tarantino movie. Isn't this from his smash hit Django Unchained?

He makes some dandy fantasy flicks.

Steve Jacob 1 month, 1 week ago

I should note Jr. released all this info minutes before the NY Times was going to. Don't think this is a smoking gun, but someday the special investigator will release all his findings, and it will show a pattern of ignorance by Trump and his team. And at this point the investigator has more trust in the Senate then the POTUS does.

MerriAnnie Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

Yes, that needs to be emphasized.

About a week ago the Trump bunch started talking about how collusion isn't illegal. I see that as them setting up the idea that what they are being accused of is not illegal.

Then just before the NYT was going to publish his emails, Junior published them. He said he wants to be transparent. He has no idea how transparent he really is. Easy to see through. Mafia-style... sneaky and criminal mindsets.

Their obvious reason for suddenly making an issue of collusion not being illegal is that they already knew the NYT was going to publish proof of collusion.... so they needed to prepare their voters to accept that maybe he did it, but it's not illegal, so don't stop voting for Trump... and supporting him.

And you can bet that the GOP in Congress is not going to decide it's illegal, either. What Mueller does... some have confidence in his non-partisanship... I don't. He's a Republican. That party is turning out to be about as unethical as it gets. I'll need proof from Mueller himself... and then I can believe he's honest.

MerriAnnie Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

Anybody ever wonder how the NYT journalists are able to find this kind of information when it's not known if even the FBI and CIA, nor Mueller, has found it? That's an aspect of this I hope, when all is said and done, the NYT tells us.... precisely how they got that information.

As for how I think this will all turn out:

Republicans are 100% in control, right down to Mueller, whom some Democrats think is above the fray... but... I can't know that.

I believe the Republicans will come to an understanding that they must charge someone with something when they find all the criminals involved. That one or two someones won't be the star players. They might, for instance, charge Manafort and Flynn with some little something that will result in a small punishment.

Nobody else will be charged with anything.

The Repubs MIGHT come to an understanding with Trump Sr that, if he steps down his family will be let off the hook.

At which time we get Pence... who also has lied and seems clearly to have known about Flynn's crimes from the beginning, but he lied about it.

Lying isn't a crime unless you do it to the FBI or the CIA or to Congress.

But lying is what they all do. All of them. They're not going to do anything to anybody for lying unless they're Democrats.

I feel less angst when I simply accept that Republicans are not going to charge Republicans with anything --- but for a few guys they're willing to charge just to feed their hungry voters.

Then they'll get Pence and they'll have quietened the Trump stories long enough to feed their sheep bigger and better lies about Obamacare, and the need to cut taxes and regulations for the wealthy.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

I'm not a reporter, but I think it's easier for a reporter to delve into stuff that people will talk about when there is no lawyer standing around or court order for them to fear. Consider the classic Watergate case. "Woodstein" were able to get enough from sources to put the story together without fear of overstepping legal bounds, and people talked to them. That is how I see it.

MerriAnnie Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

Thanks, Greg.

I'm also simply missing on my understanding of how journalists/reporters find out where to look for these things. Likely, anonymous sources, I guess. People tell them things in secret that we, the readers, would never have a way of knowing, and they're able to follow up on that. I've been shocked lately by the things that investigative reporters seem to know.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

Except, Richard, none of those people are in the extremely powerful position Chump occupies, so no issue there.

Now, the main thing is that, unlike two year old children, there is no justification in the "he did it so I can, too, and it's OK" line. That you guys have come to that excuse shows volumes about your understanding of ethics. Got it?

Michael Kort 1 month, 1 week ago

Donald Trump Sr. asked the Russian out louds...........and no one else ......to release the rest of Hilaries emails from the stage of a campaign rally in front of a live audience .

Why ask only the Russians, in particular, in public, at an event that was video recorded unless he assumed that the American public were too stupid to get it .....now or later ?.........and he was sadly mostly right about that one.......but as he is a liar, he simply can't keep his lies straight and is convicted by his own public words !

Children don't fall far from the tree.....and his sons emails are discovered and you can bet that he has media advisors to craft the next crafty lie from the Trumpsters .

Gary Stussie 1 month, 1 week ago

With all that is going on in the nation and the world, the "DNC Today" insert devotes 2 pages to Donald Trump Jr. What a waste of paper! If you truly want to get an idea of what is happening around you, tune in to One America News

MerriAnnie Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

You seem to be suggesting that Americans and news media should stick their heads in the sand and stop telling us what our president and his admin and family are doing.

Every day there is something new to report about them. Another inch or two and sometimes a mile or two on the Russia story... every day. Thank God the media has and continues to be our ears and eyes on our government. Were they in collusion with the president and our government we'd be living in a fascist country where our rights don't exist anymore.

I might suggest that people who don't want to know what their elected representatives are doing and saying,, maybe watch soap operas and cartoons on tv? Instead of reading the NEWS.

Gary Stussie 1 month, 1 week ago

Remember the questionable dossier -- written by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele and allegedly distributed by Fusion GPS -- which contained unverified allegations against the Trump team.

Fusion GPS, the Democrat-funded opposition research firm, allegedly paid Steele with money from a Clinton backer. The dossier eventually fell into the hands of the FBI.

The White House and Trump allies also have cited a reported meeting between a DNC consultant and officials at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C., last year.

“If you are looking for an example of a campaign coordinating with a foreign country or a foreign source, look no further than the DNC which actually coordinated opposition research with the Ukrainian Embassy,”

MerriAnnie Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

Britain and the U.S. have shared intelligence for many decades in an effort to catch criminals. That's what that situation was all about.

They were not focused on getting Clinton elected in order to hurt the United States.

Not the same thing at all. Even your GOP in congress isn't trying to force that idea.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

Again, Gary, this story is not about Clinton or the Dems. It's about the CURRENT administration. You know, the one that won the election? Packed Congress with Regressives? Remember? We are now looking at, not for, examples of campaign collusion that actually happened and an election victory that actually happened, and at what the future holds for a nation led by those who actively took part in, and encouraged, action against the United States.

And you can not comprehend the difference? that, Gary, is why the minority of voters elected Chump and why a large percentage of you continue to support him. That's what the story is about, and no amount of diversion from that is going to make any difference to me or anyone who actually tries to look at facts.

But, again, nice try.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 month ago

Gary, if you saw Trump shoot someone in Time Square, would you still support him?

MerriAnnie Smith 1 month ago

Gary, All of that was looked into and it was a nothing-burger.

But I understand the need to find something else to talk about rather than the topic of this thread.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

An interesting thing, as MerriAnnie mentioned, is that Junior released these emails, apparently, after he found that the Times was going to publish them (and it is standard for the reporter to tell the respondent that the paper is going to run with a story and ask for comment), and seems to think that that justifies and explains away the problems with what the emails indicate. I once had a lawyer tell me that admitting you did wrong does not make it right. That is what I see happening here.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 month, 1 week ago

He who excuses himself......accuses himself.

Ray Mizumura 1 month, 1 week ago

The two most punchable faces in America belong to DT Jr. and Martin Shrekli.

Richard Aronoff 1 month, 1 week ago

So, Greg Cooper: You attack Trump, Jr. for checking out purported damaging information about Hillary Clinton but you see nothing wrong with Barack Obama sending members of his campaign war room to Israel to defeat Bibi Netanyahu, this country's staunchest ally in the region and the leader of the only democracy in the region?

You could while away the hours Conferrin' with the flowers, Consulting with the rain; And your head you'd be a scratchin' While your thoughts are busy hatchin' If you only had a brain.

William Cummings 1 month, 1 week ago

Your comment is nothing but a diversion which has been well debunked.

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/mar/25/blog-posting/blog-claims-us-funded-anti-netanyahu-election-effo/

The topic here is Trump Jr. and his acceptance of help from a hostile foreign power.

Greg Cooper 1 month, 1 week ago

Your last comment might be germane, but has nothing to do with what I said. Read my posts here, then get back to me with your further attacks on me rather than what I said. then, I'd be glad to engage in mental Olympics with you. And I can tell you why the ocean is near the shore, by the way.

Harlan Hobbs 1 month, 1 week ago

I see that the headline has been reworded. How interesting!

The real traitors in this country are those liberal and media persons who are trying to overthrow the government. They are despicable and should be ashamed of themselves. If they don't like it here, why don't they just leave and go to a country where their "seditious" activities would be treated more vigorously, if you know what I mean.

At least, Donald Trump, Jr. has been transparent. Also, he didn't sign off on selling 20% of our uranium to Russia and Putin in exchange for millions of dollars of donations to the Clinton Foundation and huge speaking fees for Bill Clinton for speeches in Moscow, not to mention all of the election meddling in Israel by Obama and mentioned by Mr. Aronoff. Obama also tried to influence the Brexit vote in England. That was about as successful as his attempt to get the Olympic Games for Chicago.

MerriAnnie Smith 1 month, 1 week ago

It's strange how people who wish to overthrow a government we've had for a very long time, by electing a traitorous person and his family and cohorts, will turn around and accuse people who want their government to remain as it has been for its entire history of being traitors.

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