Donald Trump Jr. set off a media frenzy Tuesday by releasing emails that linked a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer to the Kremlin’s effort to help his father, President Donald Trump, get elected. During the 2016 election, Trump Jr. was enticed when an acquaintance emailed him about documents that “would incriminate Hillary (Clinton) 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,” read the June 2016 email to Trump Jr. from Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid writer and publicist.
Trump Jr. replied with enthusiasm, writing, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Republicans have stayed mostly quiet, but Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke to reporters Tuesday.
“Anytime you’re in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is ‘no,’” said Graham.
Right-wing Twitter, however, reacted with defense, not much concern and Clinton condemnation.
Trump Jr. took the meeting in June 2016 and was accompanied by Paul Manafort, who at the time was a campaign manager for his father, as well as his brother-in-law Jared Kushner, now an adviser to the president. Though the meeting was eventually fruitless, the revelation of its existence and pretext has put a serious spotlight on the ongoing investigations of connections between Trump and Russia. Democratic politicians expressed concern. The revelation was spurred on by reporting by the New York Times.
“There’s no escaping it: the Trump Campaign’s inner circle met with an agent of a hostile foreign power to influence the outcome of the American election,” said Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “The American people face a White House riddled with shadowy Russian connections and desperate to hide the truth.”