Category: Trump Jr Russia
The Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday that Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will be testifying for their investigation into Russian meddling and alleged collusion. They indicated that the public testimony would take place the following Wednesday.
The president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also attended the meeting, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday, two days before Trump Jr. and Manafort’s testimony.
Trump Jr. has been at the center of a political firestorm around a June 2016 meeting days after his father, then-candidate Trump, clinched the Republican nomination. In a series of stories by the New York Times, it was revealed that Trump Jr. attended the meeting in hopes of obtaining damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Later he released emails about the meeting showing that he was told the information would be a part of the Russian government’s effort to help Trump win the election.
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” wrote a publicist organizing the meeting in an email to Trump.
“If it what’s you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied. Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer said these were the “fatal words” that provided evidence of campaign officials seeking to collude with the Russian government.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer that met with Trump Jr., told RT News that she was ready and eager to testify before Congress as well.
“If the Senate wants to hear the real, true story, I, with great readiness, will tell them everything I wanted to tell Mr. Trump (Jr.) and what I wanted to say in Congress last year,” she said.
“Absolutely everything I know about in what ways huge millions of money came into my country, Russia, and returned as billions.” she added, “And there were no taxes paid.”
The president has recently been batting down more accusations about meetings with Russians. It was reported that after a formal dinner at the G20 economic summit, President Trump sought out Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and had a brief, “nearly hour long” meeting with him. Trump called the reporting of the meeting “sick” and “dishonest.”
Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails, Trump Jr. meeting with Russians
Shepard Smith blew up at the Trump administration during his show when another revelation about the Russian meeting in June 2016 broke into the headlines, apparently contradicting Donald Trump Jr.’s that the whole story was out. He made the comments Friday on Fox News while speaking with Chris Wallace.
“The emails, well in fact, this was supposed to be,” Wallace said, “and what the Trump folks took the meeting to accomplish was the Russian government trying to give information about Hillary Clinton as part of an effort to swing the election to Donald Trump. So, you know you’re exactly right, we’ve been told a variety of stories. We’ve gotten – and who knows if we’ve even gotten to the end of the story, we’ve only got to the end of the story with the emails.”
“I know that we haven’t,” Smith said, “I know that we haven’t because there’s news breaking at this moment, Chris.”
“Fox News can now confirm,” Smith said dramatically turning to the camera. “New, more, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, the lawyer from Russia, the interpreter, this new guy we found about today, and a mystery person. John Roberts confirms there was an eighth person in that meeting.”
“We don’t know there may have been more but there was an eighth,” he added.
“Jared Kushner filled out his form, I think it’s an F-86,” Smith explained, “saying who he had met with and what he’d done. Very important stuff, you can go to prison for messing it up, y’know, intentionally.”
“He went back and added one hundred names and places,” he continued. “None of these people made it. They – we’re still not clean on this, Chris, if there’s nothing there, and that’s what they tell us, they tell us there’s nothing to this, nothing came of it, there’s a nothing-burger, it wasn’t memorable, didn’t write it down, didn’t tell ya about it because it wasn’t anything so I didn’t even remember it!”
“With a Russian interpreter in the room at Trump Tower,” he added sarcastically.
“If all of that, why all these lies?” Smith demanded. “Why is it lie after lie after lie? If you’re clean, come on clean! Y’know?”
“My grandmother used to say, ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,’” he said, paraphrasing a Shakespeare verse.
“The deception, Chris, is mind-boggling!” He exclaimed. “And there are still people out there who believe we’re making it up. And one day they’re gonna realize we’re not, and look around and go, where are we and why are we getting told all these lies.”
“You know, I don’t know what to say,” Wallace responded, almost speechless. I think there’s a lot of truth to everything that you’ve said.”
On Friday it was discovered that the meeting in June 2016 with Trump Jr. and other Trump associates with a Russian lawyer also included a Russian-born lobbyist who is said to have had counter-intelligence experience in Russia, and two unidentified persons. Critics have taken this to show that Trump Jr. had not being completely upfront about all the details of the controversial meeting.
President Trump said that he was proud of the transparency of his son for divulging the emails about the meeting.
Posted in Chris Wallace, Donald Trump Jr., Fox News, Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Shepard Smith, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails
In yet another surprise development in the ongoing saga over a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June during the election, it appears as if there at least eight persons present that has not been identified yet.
A report Friday afternoon revealed two more people attended than were known previously.
This is in addition to the revelation Friday morning that in attendance was also a lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin, who emigrated to the U.S. from Russia. He previously served as a Soviet counter-intelligence officer served in the Soviet military and was accused of hacking into the files of a Russian mining company in 2015. He denied those allegations in court.
This means that the meeting was attended by at least eight people: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, publicist Rob Goldstone, lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a representative for the Agalarov family, and a translator.
This doesn’t contradict what Donald Trump Jr. said about the meeting, but adds more elements that he seems to have omitted, even as he says he was being completely transparent about the controversial event.
Trump Jr. and his allies say that the meeting was so unimportant that he simply didn’t think it was worth mentioning after it was completed. “It was such a nothing, I literally wouldn’t have remembered it,” he told Sean Hannity on Fox News Tuesday.
He claimed that that nothing came of the meeting, no information was exchanged, and that the story was completely out.
“This is everything,” Trump Jr. said, “this is everything.”
People in June 6, 2016 Trump Tower meeting. https://t.co/i9s177eYb7 pic.twitter.com/lT0V70Qqzk
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 14, 2017
Critics of the president have used the previously-undisclosed meeting as evidence of the theory that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to tilt the election to President Trump and away from Hillary Clinton.
Others like conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer called the meeting unethical and problematic for the Trump administration, even if it was not strictly illegal.
Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Sean Hannity Trump Jr, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer dismissed a new conspiracy theory that the Obama administration allowed into the country a Russian lawyer to set up Donald Trump Jr. for collusion. He made the comments on Fox News Thursday.
“Well I’m not impressed by the story about the lawyer,” he said, “I think it’s a red herring the size of a whale. She was a pawn. It doesn’t change the central fact in the scandal.”
“The scandal is that the email received from an intermediary by Donald Trump Jr. said that a Russian government lawyer, the president is wrong it was not a lawyer, a Russian government lawyer, would be coming with dirt on Hillary,” he added, “and that the Kremlin was supporting his campaign, and that the crown prosecutor, that’s a misnomer, the state prosecutor in the Kremlin had a trove of documents that they would offer.”
“That’s the story,” he said emphatically.
“I don’t think it’s illegal,” he continued, “I don’t think anybody’s claiming that it’s illegal, but it does, the one thing it does, it totally undermines a six month story from the White House, to which I was sympathetic, that there wasn’t any collusion.”
“This was a bungled collusion,” he explained. “This was amateurish collusion, this was Keystone Cops collusion, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was attempted collusion.”
“And it undoes the White House story completely,” he concluded.
Krauthammer continued later, “Well there’s one salient fact here. Hillary is a private citizen. She lost the election. All of this could be true – if people want to go after her to put her in jail.”
“Lock her up,” he said, apparently referring to the Trump campaign chant. “OK, I have no objection whatsoever.”
“The fact is that the president is Mr. Trump,” he added. “And this is an accusation that’s been made against him. His own nomination for the FBI [director], has said that what Donald Trump Jr. did, what the campaign did, essentially, the top three officials in the campaign, was something that was wrong and they should instead have called the authorities. That’s the salient fact.”
Baier pressed him on where the crime was, and Krauthammer reiterated that he didn’t think there was a crime, but that there was six months of deception from the Trump campaign.
“I’m willing to concede that it’s not a criminal act, but it’s certainly an unethical act,” he concluded.
Some defenders of the president have latched onto details about Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., to imply that she was part of an effort by the Obama administration to entrap the president’s son. The New York Times revelations about the meeting has led to Special Counsel Mueller expanding his investigation into Russian collusion to include Trump Jr’s emails.
Posted in Charles Krauthammer, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails
Natalia Veselnitskaya is at the center of the political firestorm around the meeting in 2016 that Democrats are claiming as proof of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. The Russian lawyer was characterized as an agent of the Russian government’s effort to defeat Hillary, though she denies the connection.
Now questions are arising about how she was in the country in the first place to get that meeting.
According to a report from the Daily Beast, Veselnitskaya didn’t appear to have visa authorization to enter the country when she did in 2016.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York said that Veselnitskaya had been granted an “immigration parole” in 2015, but it expired in early 2016 and wasn’t renewed.
The State Department would not confirm or deny whether Veselnitskaya applied again for a visa in 2016, let alone if a visa was granted. A spokesperson told The Daily Beast the State Department could not comment due to privacy considerations. Veselnitskaya also did not respond to requests for comment.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) is demanding answers from the State Department on the issue. In a letter sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he wrote, “It is unclear how [Veselnitskaya] was still in the country for that meeting despite being denied a visa beforehand and her parole purportedly expiring on January 7, 2016.”
“This raises serious questions about whether the Obama administration authorized her to remain in the country, and if so, why?” he asked.
Some have speculated that the Obama administration had something to do with allowing her in the country, fueling a conspiracy theory that the entire meeting was orchestrated to set up Donald Trump Jr.
Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails
Fox News’ Shepard Smith registered his astonishment with how some people are defending what appears to be meddling by the Russians in our elections. He made the comments on his show Wednesday.
“The [New York] Times reports that the president’s son was told the paper is going to print these things,” he explained, “we’re going to print the emails. And he tweeted copies of the emails instead of replying to requests for content.”
“This was not being transparent,” Smith claimed, “this was the New York Times is gonna publish this, I’m gonna publish it instead.”
“Then there’s the president’s claim that the Russia investigation is a ‘witch hunt.’ Fox News can confirm it is not,” he said. “Current and former U.S. officials say there is absolutely no doubt that Russia interfered in our election, put its thumbs on the scales of Democracy.”
“And that Vladimir Putin ordered the thumbs!” he exclaimed. “And all the meddling, lots if different kinds of meddling!”
“Attempting to change our Democracy from Moscow!” he continued. “And some people seem to think it’s OK.”
“It’s astounding!” he concluded.
Smith was referring to the recent reports from the New York Times detailing a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner with a Russian lawyer just after then-candidate Trump won the Republican nomination. Trump Jr. revealed emails that showed he was receptive to receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
Shep Smith: “it’s astounding” that anyone is trying to argue Russian meddling in American elections isn’t a massive deal pic.twitter.com/Cu5ofjEEYZ
— Leanne Naramore (@LeanneNaramore) July 12, 2017
Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Shepard Smith, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails
Sean Hannity interviewed Donald Trump Jr. during the political firestorm over his recently revealed meeting with a Russian lawyer in search of damaging information on Hillary Clinton before the election. Trump Jr. implied that he regretted his actions.
Hannity appeared on Martha MacCallum’s show to preview his exclusive Tuesday.
“In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently,” he told Hannity.
“Again, and this is before the Russian mania,” he continued, “this is before they were building it up in the press.”
“For me this was opposition research,” Trump Jr. said, “they had something maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I’d been hearing about but they were probably underreported for years, not just during the campaign.”
“So I think I wanted to hear it out,” he explained, “but really it went no where and it was apparent that wasn’t what the meeting was actually about.”
Hannity blamed the media for exaggerating the scandal, saying that America is in the biggest “informational crisis” in its history.
Hannity told MacCallum that he actually ran out of questions for the son of the president during their meeting as a way of showing how unimportant the story was.
Trump Jr. released the emails he received from a publicist about the controversial meeting before the New York Times could report that he believed he would obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. Tuesday it was reported that Special Counsel Mueller would expand his investigation into the meeting and the emails Trump Jr. revealed.
Posted in Politics, Russian interference, Russian investigation, Sean Hannity, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said that he was disturbed by the details in the emails disclosed by Donald Trump Jr., and not so much about what actually happened at the meeting. He made the comments to Martha MacCallum on Fox News Tuesday.
“So in terms of this Donald Trump Jr. story that’s out there today, are you troubled by any of it,” asked MacCallum.
“Yeah I’m troubled on three levels,” Gowdy replied. “Number one, the legal level, but I think that’s Bob Mueller’s lane. The political level, Martha, here we are beginning another week, this one in July with a new revelation about Russia.”
“And the third, which is more of a medical issue,” he joked, “is the amnesia of the people that are in the Trump orbit.”
“Someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say from the time you saw Doctor Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris,” he exclaimed, “you list every single one of those and we’re gonna turn them over to the special counsel.”
“Because this drip drip drip is undermining the credibility of this administration,” he concluded.
“Well, you may be right about that,” MacCallum answered. “In terms of the Magnitsky Act, which is basically is a U.S. act that went through Congress, that limits friends of Vladimir Putin, close associates, from things they like to do, like travelling to the United States, travelling throughout other areas in the world, because it’s a slap on the wrist for human rights violations.”
“Selective, in terms of who it impacts,” she explained, “it also, so their punishment, the Russian government’s punishment was to say we’re gonna end all these adoptions that are happening to the United States, and a few other things that they did.”
“Are you concerned that there was an effort to influence this campaign with regard to changing that,” she asked, “or to find a sympathetic ear on that?”
“I’m not nearly as concerned with that,” Gowdy responded, “I’m much more concerned with the purported reason of the meeting as opposed to the real reason. The purported reason was for an agent of a foreign power to try to influence our election. That concerns me more than someone trying to sit down with a member of perhaps an incoming administation to lobby for a policy change.”
“I’m much more concerned with the words of the actual email than the real reason she wanted to meet,” he said.
“Which words in the email disturb you?” MacCallum asked.
“Russian governments’ efforts to help the Trump campaign, official documents,” he answered.
The bombshell stories in the New York Times led to Donald Trump Jr. disclosing emails he had received that indicated he could obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government before the election.
Posted in Donald Trump Jr., Politics, Russian interference, Trey Gowdy, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails
Sources told CNN Tuesday that Special Counsel Mueller will expand his investigation to included the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer that was revealed by the New York Times.
The New York Times reported on the meeting on Saturday, after which Trump Jr. released a statement saying simply that they had talked about adoption services. When more details became available, Trump Jr. expanded his statement and admitted that he had gone to the meeting hoping to receive emails hacked from Hillary Clinton, but was misled to talk about adoption instead.
After Monday evening’s bombshell that the New York Times knew of an email proving Trump Jr. was told the meeting was behalf of the Russian government’s effort to defeat Hillary in favor of Trump. This forced Trump Jr. to release the emails publicly on his Twitter account Tuesday.
“The investigators working for Robert Mueller are now planning to investigate the meeting and exchanges,” CNN’s Manu Raju told Wolf Blitzer, “the email exchanges that Donald Trump Jr. today disclosed publicly.”
“The full details of the meeting and the interactions were not known to the FBI,” he explained. “The FBI has been looking at this, as you know, for about a year. But they didn’t know all of these interactions, at least, I’m told, until recently.”
“What’s happened more recently is that Jared Kushner the president’s son-in-law has amended his SF-86 form,” he added. “This is the form that he submitted to get a permanent security clearance from the FBI. As part of that process, Jared Kushner disclosed this meeting because he attended it, as you know, with Paul Manafort, the then-chairman of the campaign, as well as Don Junior.”
BREAKING: Robert Mueller’s investigators plan to examine the meeting and emails Donald Trump Jr. disclosed https://t.co/hllBAhlYoc pic.twitter.com/DhxKlxFsnj
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) July 11, 2017
“It should be noted that the FBI has, in the past year, taken a look at Don Jr’s finances, his associations, as part of the broader look at whether or not there was any collusion or whether or not there’s any ties to Russia that crossed over into criminal territory,” Raju added.
Although Trump Jr. had vehemently denied any level of Russian collusion from the Trump campaign, an email he released from publicist Rob Goldstone said the meeting was about information from “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” However, defenders of the president’s son note that according to his account, no such information was actually exchanged.
Posted in Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Politics, President Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, Trump, Trump Jr Russia, Trump Jr. emails