Donald Trump, Jr. released the chain of emails Tuesday morning that was apparently referred to in reports by the New York Timesin which a publicist offered to set up a meeting between Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer who offered to provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
The introductory email, written in June 2016 by publicist Rob Goldstone, referred to an offer from the “Crown prosecutor of Russia” who “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”
The email continued: “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump, Jr. responded: “[I]f it’s what you say I love it.”
The Times reported the existence of the introductory email on Monday evening, though it had not seen the email, did not possess the email, did not verify the email, and relied on second-hand descriptions from “three people with knowledge of the email,” presumably from the intelligence community or from one of the intelligence committees in Congress.
(On Tuesday morning, it proclaimed: “The Times now has the email to Donald Trump Jr. offering Russian aid to ‘incriminate Hillary’,” after Donald Trump, Jr. had made the email available to the general public.)
Donald Trump, Jr. accompanied the release of the email chain with a statement in which he stated that he thought the lawyer had “Political Opposition Research” on Clinton, and that the meeting had taken place “before the current Russian fever was in vogue.” He reiterated that the lawyer “had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act.” He did not comment on the publicist’s statement that the information was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
The email does not refer to any cooperation, coordination or collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.