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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

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.

For CEOs, social media has lost its fun

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CEO Jack Dorsey's departure from Twitter shows that, in Silicon Valley today, social media is becoming a field to flee.

Why it matters: Coming on the heels of Facebook's name change and new metaverse focus, Dorsey's resignation is another sign that the industry now views the massive social networks it built over the last two decades as buggy "legacy applications" mired in annoying social problems.