Donald Trump Jr emails show Russia communication

Donald Trump Jr talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House April 17, 2017 in Washington, DCImage copyright
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Donald Trump Jr was told the information would be useful to his father, one email says

US President Donald Trump’s son has released an email chain showing he was offered “sensitive” information on Hillary Clinton by a Russian national.

Publicist Rob Goldstone tells Donald Trump Jr that there is information that is “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.

US officials are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

Mr Goldstone has previously denied any knowledge of involvement in the election by the Russian government.

The email to Mr Trump Jr, which he released on Twitter, says “the crown prosecutor of Russia” (a role that does not exist) had “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father”.

Mr Trump Jr replies: “If it’s what you say, I love it.”

It appears to be the first confirmation that a Trump associate attended a meeting in the expectation of being handed sensitive information from Russian officials.

How the story has developed

Since he was elected, President Trump has been dogged by allegations that Russia tried to sabotage Mrs Clinton’s campaign. He has denied any knowledge of this and Russia has also repeatedly denied interfering.

In May, the department of justice appointed ex-FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to look into the Russian matter.

Just days ago, Donald Trump Jr admitted that he had met Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya on 9 June 2016 after being told that she had damaging material on Mrs Clinton.

He insisted that the lawyer provided “no meaningful information” but wanted to talk about sanctions against Russian individuals. However, it was the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of President Trump’s inner circle.

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The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was also at the meeting

Ms Veselnitskaya, who has been linked to the Russian government, has insisted she was never in possession of information that could have damaged Mrs Clinton.

She said Mr Trump Jr and two senior campaign aides may have met her last summer because they were “longing” for such information.

What are the latest developments?

The email chain posted by Mr Trump Jr shows that on 3 June last year, he received an email from intermediary Mr Goldstone promising documents from Russia that would incriminate Hillary Clinton and her dealings with Russia.

One email from Mr Goldstone to Mr Trump Jr said the information they had been promised was “obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.

Within the week, a meeting had been arranged in New York in which Mr Trump Jr, Jared Kushner – the president’s son-in-law – and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort were present.

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