Report: Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian who promised “damaging” info on Hillary Clinton

Report: Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian who promised “damaging” info on Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump Jr.
Source: Kathy Willens/AP
Donald Trump Jr.
Source: Kathy Willens/AP

Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of the president, met with a Russian lawyer with connections to the Kremlin in June 2016 only after being promised “damaging information about Hillary Clinton,” the New York Times reported Sunday.

Three White House advisers who were briefed on the meeting, as well as two others with knowledge of it, confirmed those details to the Times. Also present at the meeting were Jared Kushner, the president’s powerful aide and son-in-law, and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort.

What’s more, those involved are not denying the meeting took place, though they dispute the specific circumstances.

The confirmation of such a meeting is just the latest in a series of connections between President Donald Trump’s campaign and White House staff and people linked to the Russian government, which intelligence agencies believe hacked into Democratic email systems during the campaign to leak information damaging to Clinton’s campaign.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who allegedly promised damaging info about Clinton, had clients including “state-owned businesses and a senior government official’s son, whose company was under investigation in the United States at the time of the meeting,” the Times noted. She denied any affiliation with the government.

Donald Trump Jr. released a statement to several news outlets confirming the meeting, which was first reported on by the Times on Saturday, took place. Kushner, who is now a government official, previously reported no contacts with foreign officials during his security clearance application process but has since resubmitted the information to correct the omission, his lawyer Jamie Gorelick said in a statement.

In Trump Jr.’s statement, the president’s son said he had essentially been tricked into a meeting with another purpose — to discuss the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. sanction on some Russian officials. But he did not deny that the purpose of the meeting was to share information “helpful to [his father’s] campaign.”

“I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2014 Miss Universe Pageant. ... I was not told her name prior to the meeting,” he wrote. “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. ... 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.”

“That was the end of it and there was no further contact or follow-up of any kind,” Trump Jr. concluded. “My father knew nothing of the meeting or these events.”

July 9, 2017, 6:07 p.m.: This story has been updated.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

A look inside the candidate boot camp training the next wave of progressive political hopefuls

"We need to elect badass leaders ... at every level of government.”

Anthony Scaramucci proves that being rich doesn’t make you good at your job

The Mooch is grandly inept at being the White House communications director — maybe because he's never had to be good at anything.

Boy Scouts chief apologizes for Trump’s politically charged speech

"We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the scouting program," the Boy Scouts of America's chief executive said in a statement.

If you don't support affordable healthcare, you're not "pro-life"

As a disability activist and a Christian, I do not believe that it is moral for other pro-lifers to support a repeal of Obamacare.

A running list of Republicans opposing Trump’s ban on transgender troops

So far, at least eight Republicans have openly criticized the policy.

Senate Republicans have had enough of Trump’s attacks on Sessions — and are speaking out about it

Sen. Lindsey Graham said there would be "holy hell to pay" if Trump fires Sessions.

A look inside the candidate boot camp training the next wave of progressive political hopefuls

"We need to elect badass leaders ... at every level of government.”

Anthony Scaramucci proves that being rich doesn’t make you good at your job

The Mooch is grandly inept at being the White House communications director — maybe because he's never had to be good at anything.

Boy Scouts chief apologizes for Trump’s politically charged speech

"We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the scouting program," the Boy Scouts of America's chief executive said in a statement.

If you don't support affordable healthcare, you're not "pro-life"

As a disability activist and a Christian, I do not believe that it is moral for other pro-lifers to support a repeal of Obamacare.

A running list of Republicans opposing Trump’s ban on transgender troops

So far, at least eight Republicans have openly criticized the policy.

Senate Republicans have had enough of Trump’s attacks on Sessions — and are speaking out about it

Sen. Lindsey Graham said there would be "holy hell to pay" if Trump fires Sessions.