First son Donald Trump Jr. posted an email thread online on July 11 that may have shown him setting up a meeting to speak with a Russian attorney about information that could help his father win the presidential election.
The eldest son of President Donald Trump posted the exchange after reports that he had agreed to meet with a person he believed was a "Russian government attorney" who could give him sensitive information regarding his father's election opponent, former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, CNN reports.
Donald Trump Jr. had received an email from publicist Rob Goldstone, who offered to set up a meeting with the attorney, saying that he could provide Donald Trump Jr. with "very high level and sensitive information" which would "incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia."
In one of the emails released by Donald Trump Jr., he said, "If it's what you say I love it."
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"This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump," said Goldstone in the email, who added it would be "very useful" to Donald Trump, NPR reports.
The email thread then continued as Donald Trump Jr. and Goldstone attempted to set up a meeting with the attorney, and those CC'd on some of the email included former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to The New York Times.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney, said she she had never acted on the government's behalf. Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr. both denied that she had given important information about Clinton to the Trump campaign.
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Donald Trump Jr. said he released the email thread to be "totally transparent."
"The first email on June 3, 2016 was from Rob, who was relating a request from [Russian pop star] Emin [Agralov], a person I knew from the 2013 Ms. Universe Pageant near Moscow," wrote Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter. "Emin and his father have a very highly respected company in Moscow. The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research."
"I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn't work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting," continued the president's son. "The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official. And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act."
"To put this in context, this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue," said Donald Trump Jr. "As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was 'the most inane nonsense l ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it.'"
The release of the emails comes as federal investigators continue to look into the possibility that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.