Trump Jr. Told In Email That Russia Wanted To Help Campaign

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Donald Trump Jr. has hired a criminal defense attorney as part of the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The development came on the same day he admitted to meeting last year with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

“Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy,” as first reported by the New York Times.

Trump’s son told the person promising him damaging information about Hillary Clinton: “If it’s what you say I love it.”

The meeting was reportedly arranged at the request of Rob Goldstone, a music publicist, who helped bring Donald Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe pageant to Moscow.

In Tuesday, Trump Jr. posted the email chain to his Twitter account “in order to be totally transparent.”

“In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently,” Trump Jr. said.

Appearing on Fox News, Trump Jr. sought to set the record straight about his meeting.

“For me, this was opposition research. They had something, maybe concrete evidence maybe to all the stories I had been about it,” he said.

Trump Jr. said when he met with attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya she reportedly offered information on “individuals connected to Russia” who were “funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.” Veselnitskaya reportedly has ties to the Kremlin.

However, the president’s son claims that her “statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense.” She then reportedly changed the subject, according to Trump Jr., to a Russian adoption program and U.S. sanctions on Russian human rights abusers.

Trump Jr. said his brother in law Jared Kushner and then campaign chairman Paul Manafort were at the meeting. He said he asked them to attend but didn’t tell them what the meeting was about. He added that his father knew nothing about the meeting.

“This is much ado about nothing. Don Jr. had no knowledge as to what specific information, if any, would be discussed,” said Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Trump Jr.

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner said he would like the president’s son to appear before the committee and talk about the meeting.

“This is the first time the public has seen clear evidence that senior level officials of the Trump campaign met with potentially an agent of a foreign government to try to obtain information that would discredit Hillary Clinton,” said Warner.

Trump Jr.’s account has evolved since the meeting was first revealed by the New York Times. On Saturday, he told the Times the meeting was primarily about ‘adoptions’. Later he admitted ‘damaging information’ about Clinton was the pretext for the meeting.

The revelation about the meeting contradicts several accounts from White House officials.

Last December, Special Counsel Kellyanne Conway was asked on CBS’ “Face The Nation” if anyone involved in the Trump campaign had any contact with Russians in an effort to meddle in the election.

“Absolutely not. And I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened,” she replied.

In February, when President Trump was asked directly whether anyone on his campaign had contacts with the Russians, he answered for himself only.

“Well, I had nothing to do with it. I have nothing to do with Russia,” he said.

On Monday, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in the 2016 election. Sanders insisted that there was nothing abnormal about the “very short meeting.”

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