Senate Intel Panel Agrees Russia Intervened In 2016 Presidential Election

Elias Hubbard
May 16, 2018

"The June 9, 2016, meeting is one piece of a much larger puzzle and confirms that the Trump campaign was willing to accept Russia's assistance", the Democrats said in a collective statement.

President Trump and Trump Jr. initially said the meeting was about "adoptions", then modified their stories after Trump Jr. released the email thread showing he received his offer of help from the Russians.

Contacted by reporters from the New York Times, Trump Jr. and the White House were asked to explain how the June 2016 sit-down came about. One year earlier, Trump was invited to the 60th birthday party of a friend in Moscow at which the opportunity to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin was dangled.

Trump said, however, that he would have taken such a message only as "general well-wishing", not a concrete offer of help. He said he could not recall the day the Trump meeting was arranged but insisted that he had never discussed the meeting with him.

"I didn't think that listening to someone with information relevant to the fitness and character of a presidential candidate would be an issue, no". Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, authorized the release of the new material following interviews or other interactions with several of the people involved with the Trump Tower meeting. Democrats had pressed Grassley to subpoena Kushner for his testimony or schedule a public hearing for Trump Jr., but he chose not to do so following Feinstein's decision to release the Simpson transcript.

Though the witnesses were not under oath, they were nonetheless required to tell Congress the truth.

The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, denies working on behalf of Moscow.

"After a thorough review, our staff concluded that the (intelligence community) conclusions were accurate and on point", Senator Mark Warner said.

His notes mention "Russian adoption by American families" and Bill Browder, a British citizen who has spearheaded a USA sanctions law -known as the Magnitsky Act- that targets Russian officials over human rights abuses.

Manafort's notes also contain references to "tied into Cheney" and "active sponsors of RNC" without any further explanation.

Asked to account for the evolving statements, Trump Jr. told Senate investigators that "they're all very consistent with each other". The meeting, and the administration's initial response to reports of it, have been a focus of the probe.

Okay, let the record show that Trump Jr. knew about the meetings, but not until they were reported in the press.

The meeting is a part of an ongoing probe by the US Department of Justice into alleged Russian Federation meddling in 2016.

In his Senate interview, Mr Trump Jr called his use of the phrase a "colloquial term" to say "great, thank you" for "potential information about an opponent" - namely, Hillary Clinton.

The transcripts provide a timeline of the days leading up to the meeting as well as misgivings about the appropriateness of a Russian lawyer meeting with a USA presidential campaign.

On the other hand, it seems like the Agalarovs - and Mr Goldstone - went through an terrible lot of work to set up a meeting where Natalya Veslinstkaya and her associates only wanted to talk about adoption policy and sanctions imposed by the Magnitsky Act.

"I am a music publicist".

"Jared Kushner, who is sitting next to me, appeared somewhat agitated by this and said, 'I really have no idea what you're talking about". Trump dismisses any talk of collusion.

Trump Jr. also said he did not inform his father about the meeting ahead of time, because he didn't want to bring him "unsubstantiated" information.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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