Donald “Fredo” Trump Jr. simply cannot help but dig that ditch deeper. Following multiple New York Times reports about his sketchy meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer — first supposedly about “adoption” law and later revealed to have purportedly contained “damaging” information on Hillary Clinton — Don Jr. has continued to twist in the wind. On Monday, he admitted that he met with the attorney (Natalia Veselnitskaya) for this information while sarcastically stating that he must be the first campaign member to ever dig for dirt on an opponent. And on Tuesday morning, he made matters even worse for himself by releasing the email chain that led to the meeting.
This dump is in addition to the conflicting statements that Don Jr. issued over the weekend, which ended up showing his dismay (later echoed by the attorney on TODAY) that the Hillary dirt was never revealed. But as for these emails that Don Jr. released today, they’re from the “acquaintance” who Don Jr. previously claimed not to know a thing about. In actuality, Rob Goldstone is a tabloid journalist who once met Donald Trump while he did business in Russia for the Trump Organization.
Here is the most relevant exchange of the emails (on page 4), in which Goldstone mentioned (on July 3, 2016) that Hillary dirt shall be revealed at the meeting attended by Don Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort:
“The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents 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 it is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump… I can also send this info to your father … but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.”
About 20 minutes later, Don Jr. enthusiastically replied with an “I love it.”
“I am on the road at the moment … seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Sounds a lot like intent to collude, right? (Also, he forwarded those emails to Kushner and Manafort.) It must be noted that Don Jr. released these messages minutes before the New York Times published a report after examining the same emails. CNN’s Brian Stelter revealed that Don Jr. pulled a sneaky trick on the NY Times — he requested time “to comment … and then pre-empted us.”
Meanwhile, the NY Times‘ Jared Yates Sexton is absolutely crushed that Don Jr. pulled this move: “I…worked on this story for a year…and…he just…he tweeted it out.” And here’s even more angst.
Sexton wasn’t done yet. Visit his Twitter account for more.
UPDATE: Mike Pence quickly backed away from this story with a statement to stress that he knew nothing of Don Jr.’s meeting.