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Donald Trump Jr. Is Literally a Cartoon Villain

17 May 2018

"Mr. Trump, Jr., said, 'So I believe you have some information for us'".

The Senate Intelligence Committee - in a major split with its House counterpart - said Wednesday that it agrees with USA intelligence agencies' assessment that the Russian government tried to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton by meddling in the 2016 election.

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

Ultimately, lawyers working for the Trump Organization crafted statements they asked other participants in the meeting to distribute, a move that could draw scrutiny from Mueller if it involved communicating with witnesses or otherwise hiding the true goal of the meeting from investigators.

Last month, the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released the final report of their year-long investigation of Russian interference in the election and the Kremlin's alleged collusion with the Trump administration, concluding over the protestations of panel Democrats that the Trump campaign did not cooperate with Moscow.

What Wednesday's document dump adds is a better understanding of the thoughts and feelings of the meeting participants before, during and after the infamous encounter at Trump Tower. Days after he was named White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci offered to work with Rob Goldstone, an intermediary for a Russian oligarch, to counter "pressure on all sides".

Goldstone, who arranged the meeting at the request of Azerbaijani-Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov, said, "I believed it was a bad idea and that we shouldn't do it".

Scaramucci, in a text message to Reuters, said the email "had nothing to do with Russian Federation". "Seems eerily weird based on our Trump meeting last week with the Russian lawyers etc".

But nothing in the new documents appears to change the course of the Russian Federation investigations ongoing in the Senate Intelligence Committee and the special counsel's office.

The trump rejects any statements on cooperation with Russian Federation to win elections.

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr

"I don't know that it alarmed me, but I like I said, I don't know and I don't know that I was all that focused on it at the time", Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in the closed-door interview a year ago. Other attendees included Paul Manafort, then the chairman of Trump's presidential campaign; Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and several Russians, including the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and their representatives.

Veselnitskaya declined to be interviewed, but provided written answers to questions.

Akhmetshin told Senate interviewers that Trump Jr. led the meeting, telling them, "He was definitely in charge". While Senate Judiciary Democrats have sought to conduct a robust and independent investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, there are more questions than answers given the lack of cooperation by numerous individuals involved.

In a note to Goldstone accompanying the statement, the lawyers said it would be "our preference" that Goldstone say "nothing more, at least for the time being".

The president's son said that, in the end, the information offered at the meeting didn't amount to anything, it was apparent they weren't representing the Russian government and he didn't discuss it beforehand with his father.

In an undated chain of text messages, Goldstone told Emin Agalarov that he was besieged by inquiries from journalists about the meeting and that he was trying to keep the Agalarovs' names out of his interviews. "Let's see if that holds".

Mr Trump sent a personal letter to Mr Putin inviting him to the beauty pageant and, as The Washington Post first reported in March, the real estate magnate scrawled a postscript at the bottom of the typed letter that said he looked forward to seeing "beautiful" women during his trip to Moscow. "Just really upset that my dad never listens to me and an unbelievable relationship that I've been establishing for a few years with mr T has been thrown down the drain". It could blow up. "I don't know about phone calls, I don't know who called who, that's why we got Mueller", said Sen.

Trump Jr. also reiterated, under oath, that the meeting was a waste of time: "All else being equal, I wouldn't have wanted to waste 20 minutes hearing about something that I wasn't supposed to be meeting about".

That's according to Ike Kaveladze, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee the sit-down between a Russian lawyer and top Trump campaign officials was dominated by talk of the Magnitsky Act.

Nearly immediately after the meeting, Goldstone called Emin Agalarov to vent.

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Donald Trump Jr. Is Literally a Cartoon Villain