Donald Trump Jr releases emails relating to meeting with Russian lawyer

Donald Trump Jr 'was emailed about Russia helping Trump campaign'

Donald Trump Jr was reportedly emailed about a meeting

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Donald Trump Jr has released a chain of emails that led to his meeting with a Russian lawyer - and the chain appears to prove that he believed he was meeting a government official.

In the tranche of emails, intermediary Rob Goldstone requests that Trump Jr attend a meeting with a "Russian government attorney" and the the US President's son accepts, telling Goldstone "[I] appreciate you helping set it up."

The emails cover the days before Trump Jr met Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016. 

The first email in the chain released by Trump Jr is dated June 3 and comes from Goldstone, a British publicist who reportedly has extensive contacts in Russia.

Goldstone claims that a mutual friend, Emin Agalarov, a pop star who is allegedly close to the Kremlin, wants to meet Trump Jr to discuss some "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

"This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr Trump."

Trump Jr begins by insisting on a phone conversation rather than a meeting, but on June 7 Goldstone says "Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and the Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday [June 9]."

Trump Jr responds "How about 3 at our offices? Thanks Rob appreciate you helping set it up."

In a statement to accompany the email dump, Trump Jr says he released the messages "to be totally transparent", and insists he thought he was simply doing "political opposition research."

The lawyer, Trump Jr says, "was not a government official" and said the meeting actually had nothing to do with Clinton or the election campaign.

The White House has said the meeting was not improper and Kellyanne Conway said on Good Morning America that “there’s no evidence of collusion” between Trump Jr and Veselnitskaya.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Vladimir Putin, said the Kremlin can't keep track of all Russian lawyers and their meetings.

You can see the full email chain here.