Report: Trump Jr. on Potentially Getting Dirt on Clinton From Russians: ‘I Love It’

Donald Trump Jr. / Getty Images
• July 11, 2017 12:45 pm


President Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., on Tuesday morning released four pages of his email correspondence with former British tabloid reporter Robert Goldstone, who helped broker a meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last June.

The meeting was predicated on Trump Jr. receiving compromising information against Hillary Clinton as part of Russian government efforts to help his father's candidacy during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump Jr. received an email in early June 2016 from one of his father's former Russian business partners, who said that he had been contacted by a senior Russian official offering to provide the Trump campaign with compromising information on Clinton, the New York Times reported.

The documents "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father," read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, "This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump."

If the future president's elder son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material—or the notion that it was part of an ongoing effort by the Russian government to aid his father's campaign—he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer."

Four days after the initial correspondence, Goldstone proposed a meeting at Trump Tower in New York with Veselnitskaya that Thursday. Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting and said that he would likely bring his father's then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and now one of his closest White House advisers.

The Times disclosed the meeting on Saturday for the first time and revealed more context over the last couple days, prompting Trump Jr. to hire Alan Futerfas as his lawyer.

Trump Jr. portrayed his meeting as a "short introductory meeting" when he was first contacted by the Times on Saturday.

"It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by," Trump Jr. said. "We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up."

Trump Jr. released another statement on Sunday when he was contacted by the Times again to further explain his meeting:

I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign. I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to attend, but told them nothing of the substance. After pleasantries were exchanged, 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. She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act. 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 Jr. tweeted on Monday that he would be "happy" to work with the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding his meeting with the Russian lawyer after Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) called for the committee to interview Trump Jr.

He tweeted again on Tuesday when he was told that the Times would be publishing the content of the emails.

"To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails [about the June 9 meeting]," he wrote. "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."