A New York Times report on Sunday disclosed that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who had ties to the Kremlin after being promised harmful information about then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE.
It’s the latest bombshell to drop amid ongoing investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, including potential ties between President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s campaign staff and Moscow.
The Times notes that its “accounts of the meeting represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.”
Trump Jr. told the paper that he had met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the request of an acquaintance, but he denied that he received any information on Clinton.
Here is a timeline of Trump Jr.’s reported contacts with Russian nationals during his father’s presidential campaign:
Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met in Trump Tower with Veselnitskaya on June 9.
Trump Jr. was told the person they were meeting with had incriminating information on Clinton, the Times reported.
About a week later, on June 15, the hacker Guccifer 2.0 released Democratic National Committee files, data that had reported ties to Russian hacks.
WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Manafort is fired from the campaign.
Kushner, who is married to first daughter Ivanka Trump, takes a job with the administration, meaning he must report meetings such as the one he, Trump Jr. and Manafort attended with Veselnitskaya.
Trump Jr. said had not set up any meetings with Russian nationals for campaign purposes, according to the Times.
“Did I meet with people that were Russian? I’m sure, I’m sure I did,” Trump Jr. reportedly told the paper in March.
“But none that were set up. None that I can think of at the moment. And certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form.”
On March 20, then-FBI Director James Comey testified in front of Congress, confirming that the bureau was conducting an investigation into Russia’s attempts to meddle in the presidential election and any potential “coordination” between Trump campaign staff members and the Kremlin.
Trump on May 9 fires Comey, calling for new leadership at the FBI.
On May 17, the Justice Department appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the special counsel tasked with investigating Russia’s involvement in the presidential election.
On Saturday, the Times reported that Trump Jr. had arranged a meeting with Veselnitskaya, who has ties with the Kremlin, weeks after his father secured the Republican presidential nomination.
Veselnitskaya told the Times in a Saturday statement that “nothing at all about the presidential campaign” was discussed. She “never acted on behalf of the Russian government,” she said, and “never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government.”
A separate report from the Times, published on Sunday, said that Trump Jr. met with Veselnitskaya after being promised harmful information about Clinton.
He denied that in a statement to the paper and other media outlets.
“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” he told the Times. “Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”
He said they then talked about American adoptions of Russian children.
here’s the statement Trump Jr. sent @BuzzFeedNews about the June 9 meeting pic.twitter.com/xcabwjzuIS
— Ellen Cushing (@elcush) July 9, 2017
Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who has been active with the Miss Universe pageant, told The Washington Post that he had arranged the meeting between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya per the request of a client he would not name.
Goldstone is a manager of Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov, whose father sponsored the 2013 Moscow pageant.