|Donald Trump, Jr. - did Ivanka get all the brains?|
While Der Trumpenführer continues to claim that all Russiagate stories are "fake news," it appears that another shoe may have dropped this evening with a follow up to the New York Times piece that exposed a meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort and a Russian attorney with ties to the Kremlin. Amazingly, Trump, Jr., - who increasingly appears to me a moron - eve admitted that the carrot that attracted him to the meeting was the promise of damaging dirt on Hillary Clinton. Now, tonight, the New York Times has revealed that Trump, Jr., had received an email confirming the promised information was derived from the Russian government. It's as if Trump, Jr., is striving to singlehandedly document collusion between his father's campaign and the Kremlin. The fact that Trump, Jr., has hired a criminal defense attorney suggest that the dullard son has realized that he is not above the law. Here are highlights of the newest development:
Before arranging a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer he believed would offer him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy, according to three people with knowledge of the email.The email to the younger Mr. Trump was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the June 2016 meeting. In a statement on Sunday, Mr. Trump acknowledged that he was interested in receiving damaging information about Mrs. Clinton, but gave no indication that he thought the lawyer might have been a Kremlin proxy.
Mr. Goldstone’s message, as described to The New York Times by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information.
[T]he email is likely to be of keen interest to the Justice Department and congressional investigators, who are examining whether any of President Trump’s associates colluded with the Russian government to disrupt last year’s election. American intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian government tried to sway the election in favor of Mr. Trump.
The Times first reported on the existence of the meeting on Saturday, and a fuller picture has emerged in subsequent days.
It is unclear whether Mr. Goldstone had direct knowledge of the origin of the damaging material. One person who was briefed on the emails said it appeared that he was passing along information that had been passed through several others.
Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, and Paul J. Manafort, the campaign chairman at the time, also attended the June 2016 meeting in New York. Representatives for Mr. Kushner referred requests for comments back to an earlier statement, which said he had voluntarily disclosed the meeting to the federal government.
On Monday, after news reports that he had hired a lawyer, he indicated in a tweet that he would be open to speaking to the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of the congressional panels investigating Russian meddling in the election. “Happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know,” the younger Mr. Trump wrote.
Mr. Goldstone represents the Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, whose father was President Trump’s business partner in bringing the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013. In an interview Monday, Mr. Goldstone said he was asked by Mr. Agalarov to set up the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
“He said, ‘I’m told she has information about illegal campaign contributions to the D.N.C.,’” Mr. Goldstone recalled, referring to the Democratic National Committee. He said he then emailed Donald Trump Jr., outlining what the lawyer purported to have.
But Mr. Goldstone, who wrote the email over a year ago, denied any knowledge of involvement by the Russian government in the matter, saying that never dawned on him.
His [Trump, Jr.] decision to move ahead with such a meeting was unusual for a political campaign, but it was consistent with the haphazard approach the Trump operation, and the White House, have taken in vetting people they deal with ahead of time.
News of the meeting involving the younger Mr. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Manafort blunted whatever good feeling the president’s team had after his trip to Europe for the Group of 20 economic summit meeting.
The president learned from his aides about the 2016 meeting at the end of the trip, according to a White House official. But some people in the White House had known for several days that it had occurred, because Mr. Kushner had revised his foreign contact disclosure document to include it.
The president was frustrated by the news of the meeting, according to a person close to him — less over the fact that it had happened, and more because it was yet another story about Russia that had swamped the news cycle.