Donald Trump jnr on Russians’ Clinton offer: ‘I love it’

Email said ‘incriminating’ information was part of Moscow support for Trump snr

Donald Trump jnr was told by the publicist Rob Goldstone that he had information "that would incriminate Hillary Clinton and her dealings with Russia" and that the information was "part of Russia and its government's support" for Trump, the president's eldest son has revealed.

In a highly unusual move Mr Trump jnr published a chain of emails that preceded a meeting with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, on June 9th, 2016.

It shows that Mr Goldstone, who organised the meeting, told Mr Trump jnr in an email dated June 3rd that he had the information.Mr Trump jnr replied: “If it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer.”

A separate email from Mr Goldstone also describes Ms Veselnitskaya as a government attorney.


Email tweets

Mr Trump jnr published the material on Twitter after a New York Times report cited the email, claiming that the president's eldest son had been told before a meeting at Trump Tower on June 9th that he would receive incriminating information about Ms Clinton, his father's rival for the presidency.

Mr Trump jnr had earlier on Tuesday dismissed media coverage of the June 9th appointment, describing it as a “nonsense meeting”. But the email chain appears to corroborate the fact that the meeting was set up on the pretext of offering the Trump campaign team information about Ms Clinton and that this was part of the Russian government’s support for the Republic Party nominee.

Lawyer breaks silence

Earlier the Russian lawyer at the centre of the controversy broke her silence in an interview with the US network NBC. “I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that,” she said.

She said Mr Trump jnr had asked whether she had any financial records that might prove funds used to sponsor the Democratic National Committee were coming from inappropriate sources.

“It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such information. They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted,” she said.

Ms Veselnitskaya has denied ever working for the Russian government; the Kremlin has also said it had no knowledge of her meeting with the president's eldest son, his then campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and the president's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, on June 9th, 2016.

Changing account

Mr Trump jnr has issued a number of statements since the New York Times first reported on the meeting, over the weekend. Although his initial statement said the meeting had discussed adoption matters and US restrictions on certain Russians, a second statement said that Mr Trump jnr had been informed that he would be given information relating to Ms Clinton's campaign.

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch

Suzanne Lynch, a former Irish Times journalist, was Washington correspondent and, before that, Europe correspondent