Re­port: Don­ald Jr. Was Promised Dam­ag­ing info on Clin­ton

Of­fi­cials tell NY Times Trump’s el­dest son was promised dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about Clin­ton be­fore meet­ing Rus­sian lawyer

The Jewish Voice - - NATIONAL - By: Ben Ariel

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s el­dest son, Don­ald Trump Jr., was promised dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about Hil­lary Clin­ton be­fore agree­ing to meet with a Krem­lin-con­nected Rus­sian lawyer dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign, three ad­vis­ers to the White House briefed on the meet­ing and two oth­ers with knowl­edge of it told The New York Times on Sun­day.

The news­pa­per first re­ported the ex­is­tence of the meet­ing on Satur­day.

The meet­ing was also at­tended by Trump's cam­paign chair­man at the time, Paul Manafort, and his son-in-law, Jared Kush­ner. Manafort and Kush­ner only re­cently dis­closed the meet­ing, though not its con­tent, in con­fi­den­tial gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments de­scribed to The New York Times.

The meet­ing, which took place at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks af­ter Trump clinched the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion, points to the cen­tral question in fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the Krem­lin’s med­dling in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion: whether the Trump cam­paign col­luded with the Rus­sians. The ac­counts of the meet­ing rep­re­sent the first pub­lic in­di­ca­tion that at least some in the cam­paign were will­ing to ac­cept Rus­sian help.

Amer­i­can in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have con­cluded that Rus­sian hack­ers and pro­pa­gan­dists worked to tip the elec­tion to­ward Trump.

Trump ini­tially re­jected the CIA’s as­sess­ment that Rus­sia car­ried out cy­ber­at­tacks dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign in or­der to sab­o­tage Hil­lary Clin­ton's can­di­dacy.

He later ac­cepted the in­tel­li­gence as­sess­ment but has re­jected any di­rect in­volve­ment in the Rus­sian hack­ing.

It is un­clear whether the Rus­sian lawyer, Natalia Ve­sel­nit­skaya, ac­tu­ally pro­duced the promised com­pro­mis­ing in­for­ma­tion about Clin­ton, but the peo­ple in­ter­viewed by The Times about the meet­ing said the ex­pec­ta­tion was that she would do so.

In a state­ment on Sun­day, Don­ald Trump Jr. said he had met with the Rus­sian lawyer at the re­quest of an ac­quain­tance.

“Af­ter pleas­antries were ex­changed,” he said, “the woman stated that she had in­for­ma­tion that in­di­vid­u­als con­nected to Rus­sia were fund­ing the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee and sup­port­ing Ms. Clin­ton. Her state­ments were vague, am­bigu­ous and made no sense. No de­tails or sup­port­ing in­for­ma­tion was pro­vided or even of­fered. It quickly be­came clear that she had no mean­ing­ful in­for­ma­tion.”

He said she then turned the con­ver­sa­tion to adop­tion of Rus­sian chil­dren and the Mag­nit­sky Act, an Amer­i­can law that black­lists sus­pected Rus­sian hu­man rights abusers. The law en­raged Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin that he re­tal­i­ated by halt­ing Amer­i­can adop­tions of Rus­sian chil­dren.

“It be­came clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of po­ten­tially help­ful in­for­ma­tion were a pre­text for the meet­ing,” Trump's son said.

Mark Co­rallo, a spokesman for the pres­i­dent’s lawyer, said on Sun­day that “the pres­i­dent was not aware of and did not at­tend the meet­ing.”

Lawyers and spokes­men for Kush­ner and Manafort did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment. In his state­ment, Don­ald Trump Jr. said he asked Manafort and Kush­ner to at­tend, but did not tell them what the meet­ing was about.

Ve­sel­nit­skaya said in a state­ment on Satur­day that “noth­ing at all about the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign” was dis­cussed dur­ing the meet­ing.

She added that she had “never acted on be­half of the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment” and “never dis­cussed any of these mat­ters with any rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment.”

Clin­ton has re­peat­edly blamed the Rus­sian hack­ing for her elec­tion loss. In De­cem­ber, Clin­ton claimed that Putin or­dered hack­ing at­tacks against her cam­paign and the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee “be­cause he has a per­sonal beef against me”.

She has also ac­cused for­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey for re­new­ing the probe into her use of a pri­vate email server of play­ing a role in her loss.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s el­dest son, Don­ald Trump

Jr., (pic­tured above) was promised dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about Hil­lary Clin­ton be­fore agree­ing to meet with a Krem­lin­con­nected Rus­sian lawyer dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign, three ad­vis­ers to the White House briefed on the meet­ing and two oth­ers with knowl­edge of it told The New York Times on Sun­day.

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