Then-candidate for U.S. President Donald Trump promised more dirt on opponent Hillary Clinton just hours after his son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian representative whom he believed to have said "dirt" on Clinton in June 2016.
The Washington Post matched the timing of Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian representative to just hours before candidate Trump mentioned having more information on his rival.
On June 7, 2016, candidate Trump had clinched the requisite number of delegates to seal the Republican nomination for president, and during his victory speech that evening teased the possibility of a big announcement regarding Clinton.
"I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons," Trump said. "I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting."
According to an investigation by The New York Times, emails between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian intermediary were discovered that detailed a potential meeting to discuss particularly damning information about Hillary Clinton.
Information discussed in this prospective meeting "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary between Donald Trump Jr. and the Russians. "This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Donald Trump Jr. received the email June 3, 2016, and in the following days set up a meeting with a Russian representative for the afternoon of June 7, 2016.
Trump Jr. expressed interest in hearing the aforementioned information, writing in a response to the original email that he would "love it especially later in the summer" as the campaign efforts grew more fervent and voters paid closer attention.
The meeting was with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with known connections to the Kremlin. In addition to Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump and campaign advisor, were also in attendance.
Both Donald Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya have come forward to say nothing of value was discussed in the meeting. Trump Jr. also released a transcript of the emails detailed in the New York Times story to Twitter shortly before the Times story was published, along with a statement asserting his innocence.
The House Intelligence Committee and the Justice Department are continuing their efforts to uncover to what extent, if at all, the Russian government was able to influence the U.S. election in favor of Donald Trump.