Jul 10, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Trump Jr. was told Russian gov. wanted to help his father win

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Before meeting a Kremlin-connected lawyer in June of last year, Donald Trump Jr. was told in an email that he would be provided with damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of a "Russian government effort to aid his father's candidacy," the New York Times reports.

The email came from Rob Goldstone, a publicist and acquaintance of Trump Jr.'s who arranged the meeting. Read more on the cast of characters behind the meeting.

Trump Jr.'s lawyer

"In my view, this is much ado about nothing. During this busy period, Robert Goldstone contacted Don Jr. in an email and suggested that people had information concerning alleged wrongdoing by Democratic Party front-runner, Hillary Clinton, in her dealings with Russia. Don Jr.'s takeaway from this communication was that someone had information potentially helpful to the campaign and it was coming from someone he knew. Don Jr. had no knowledge as to what specific information, if any, would be discussed."TimelineSaturday: When the NY Times first reported on the meeting, Trump Jr. said it was a brief introductory meeting and the primary topic of discussion was the adoption of Russian children. He had previously said he hadn't met with anyone related to Russia. Sunday: After the Times followed up with a report that Trump Jr had been promised "damaging information" on Clinton, Trump Jr. released a longer statement admitting that was the case, but claiming it "quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information. She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children."Monday: It is reported that Trump Jr. has hired a lawyer. Later, that lawyer releases the above statement saying Trump Jr.'s "takeaway" from the email was "someone had information potentially helpful to the campaign," implying that his takeaway was not that the information was coming from the Russian government.Trump's takeAfter hearing a couple of days ago that the meeting had taken place, per the Times: "The president was aggravated by the news of the meeting, according to one 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 media cycle."

Go deeper