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

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

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 U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s el­dest son shows him 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.

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 favour. 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.

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.


Don­ald Trump Jr. has re­tained a New York-based lawyer to rep­re­sent him.

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