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Sep 7

Trump Jr. Says He Wanted Russian Dirt to Determine Clinton’s ‘Fitness’ for Office – New York Times

Mr. Trump sat down with committee investigators in the Capitol shortly before 9:30 a.m. and was expected to remain under questioning for several hours. The interview was being conducted by staff, but a handful of Democratic senators attended.

Mr. Trump entered the Capitol under cover and did not speak with reporters.

The June 2016 meeting came about after the younger Mr. Trump received an email from a family associate saying that potentially damaging information was being provided as part of the Russian governments support for his father. But in his statement on Thursday, he described his decision to agree to the meeting as the byproduct of the chaotic, seat-of-the pants campaign assembled by his father, rather than any attempt to collude with Russia.

Mr. Trump has given differing accounts of his contacts last year with Russians. He told the Times in March that he never met with Russians on behalf of the campaign, a statement his lawyer has since said was meant to refer to Russian government officials. In July, he described the Trump Tower meeting as primarily focused on the issue of Russian adoptions, before eventually acknowledging that he took the meeting because he was told Ms. Veselnitskaya had damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.

But intentionally misspeaking to Congress is a crime, giving his statement on Thursday added weight.

He told investigators that working for his fathers campaign consumed his life. I had never worked on a campaign before and it was an exhausting, all-encompassing, life-changing experience. Every single day I fielded dozens, if not hundreds, of emails and phone calls.

He is the second person connected to the Trump campaign to tell congressional investigators that the campaign was, essentially, too inexperienced and too unfamiliar with politics to pull off a master strategy let alone coordinate with the Russian government. Mr. Trumps brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, painted a similar picture during an interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In his statement, Mr. Trump said he had some reservations about the June 2016 proposal from the meetings facilitator, Rob Goldstone, whom he described as a colorful music promoter he had come to know through the son of a Russian oligarch. Mr. Goldstone asked Mr. Trump to take a meeting that would include potentially damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.

Since I had no additional information to validate what Rob was saying, I did not quite know what to make of his email. I had no way to gauge the reliability, credibility or accuracy of any of the things he was saying, he said.

As it later turned out, my skepticism was justified. The meeting provided no meaningful information and turned out not to be about what had been represented.

In an email response to Mr. Goldstone, Mr. Trump wrote that if the promised information about Mrs. Clinton was as advertised, I love it.

As much as some have made of my using the phrase I love it, it was simply a colloquial way of saying that I appreciated Robs gesture, he said in his statement on Thursday.

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Trump Jr. Says He Wanted Russian Dirt to Determine Clinton's 'Fitness' for Office - New York Times

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