The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said today that when Donald Trump Jr. released his e-mail thread last week related to a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who worked against Russian sanctions and has a Russian billionaire acquaintance with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was the first time the American public had clear evidence there was a Russian government effort to help Trump become elected to the White House.
The secret meeting held last year on June 9th at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya has renewed concerns that Trump’s campaign received outside involvement from Russians to help boost his election chances.
The smoking gun evidence in Donald Trump Jr.’s e-mail thread contained a conversation he had with Rob Goldstone, a British music publicist who works for Emin Agalarov, a pop singer from Azerbaijan, whose father Aras Agalarov, a billionaire, has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and associated with Donald Trump in 2013 during a Miss Universe pagent in Moscow.
In the e-mail chain, Rob Goldstone wrote that the “crown prosecutor of Russia” met with Aras Agalarov and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.
Speaking on CBS’s Face The Nation, Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) said the meeting was “very troubling” and moves their whole investigation about Russian meddling to another level.
He admitted that Don Trump Jr. hasn’t been forthcoming in term of disclosing information about his past meeting with the Russian lawyer.
“At first, he said it was about Russian adoptions. At first, there was an indication it was just four people. It was actually many more people. We don’t know what transpired in that meeting, until we get a chance to talk to all of the individuals who participated” Sen. Warner said.
Sen. Warner rejected President Trump’s rebuttal and characterization that it was a “witch hunt” and said that what we have seen is a constant effort by the Trump administration to hide contacts with Russians.
“We saw General Flynn lie about meetings and get fired. We saw the attorney general not disclose meetings and have to recuse himself” Sen. Warner said.
Sen. Warner pointed out that the Trump administration put out one reason for firing Comey and then the president himself said the reason they fired Comey was because of the Russian thing.
Pointing out that the Trump administration hasn’t been forthcoming with what they know about Russian involvement during the 2016 presidential elections, Sen. Warner said he wants to hear from everyone who attended Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting in June 2016 and also expressed concern that Jared Kushner forgot to disclose three separate meetings with senior-level Russian officials and conveniently forgot to put any of those on his initial filing.
Sen. Warner said that he already knows that during the 2016 presidential election season there was a series of Russian trolls, paid individuals, who worked for the Russian services that were trying to interfere and put fake news out and utilized bots, Internet robots, that actually could also interfere.
Today President Trump tried to shift attention away from his son Donald Trump Jr. and dug up dirt on Hillary Clinton by explaining that she illegally received debate questions during the primary election season last year and deleted 33,000 emails.
Trump tweeted today,
“HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?”
HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2017
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