Russian Federation favored Trump in 2016, Senate panel says, breaking with House GOP

16 May, 2018, 21:43 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Russian Federation favored Trump in 2016, Senate panel says, breaking with House GOP

- Donald Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee past year he did not recall ever discussing the Russia investigation with his father and said he didn't think there was anything wrong with meeting a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 presidential election, according to transcripts released Wednesday of his interview with the panel.

Rob Goldstone, the British music publicist who arranged the Trump Tower meeting, told the committee he was anticipating a "smoking gun" from Veselnitskaya when he urged Trump Jr.to take the meeting, even though he thought it was a "bad idea and that we shouldn't do it".

A Senate panel has released documents on a June 2016 meeting between top Trump campaign aides and a Russian delegation promising political "dirt".

Donald Trump Jr received a call from a blocked number on 6 June, three days before the meeting.

Details of the emails and documents hacked from the Democratic National Committee server would first start becoming public, through Wikileaks and similar channels, later in the summer.

Trump Jr.'s account contrasted sharply with contemporaneous reports from the Washington Post and New York Times that cast the President as directly involved in the wording of that July 8 statement.

It lasted four minutes and came sandwiched between two phone calls Mr Trump Jr had with Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani-Russian businessman and music star who was pushing for the Trump Tower meeting.

"I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry", Trump Jr. said in a statement, "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the Committee".

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"I wouldn't have wasted his time with it", Trump Jr. testified.

He said Paul Manafort didn't look up from his phone and Jared Kushner asked aloud why they were there "listening to that Magnitsky Act story".

AZ analysis: What is "Illici"? A super-secret society? Who or what are the "active sponsors of RNC" - and does RNC stand for the Republican National Committee? While Kushner and Trump Jr. have said the now-White House senior adviser left in the middle of the meeting, others who were there told the committee they remembered Kushner staying the whole time.

But that last determination - that Russian Federation meant to help Trump - sets up a clash within the GOP over which record of events is most accurate, a dispute that could complicate the party's messaging surrounding the Russian Federation investigations as it heads into the 2018 election season. Browder, who renounced his US citizenship and now lives in the United Kingdom, was a leading advocate for the Magnitsky Act through which the US Congress imposed sanctions on Russian Federation for human rights violations.

"He said, 'it doesn't matter".

"The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President (Vladimir) Putin himself for the goal of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton", Warner said.

Did that cause Mr Goldstone to exaggerate what the Russians had to offer Mr Trump Jr as far as information on Hillary Clinton went?

"I just sent somebody an email that says I'm setting up a meeting for someone that is going to bring you damaging information about somebody who was running to become the President of the United States", Goldstone said.

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