Email Offered Trump Jr. Russian Government Dirt on Clinton. 'I Love It,' He Replied

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Trump and his son  Donald Trump Jr. after the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, July 2017.
Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. after the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, July 2017.Credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP

An email sent to Donald Trump Jr. in 2016 which cited Russian government help to get his father elected as U.S. President, The New York Times revealed on Tuesday.

The New York Times released the contents of the email exchange between Trump Jr. and an intermediary which set up the meeting with the Kremlin-linked lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. The emails clearly show that Trump Jr. was aware he would be meeting a Russian lawyer and receiving damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

The email claimed information in the meeting “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." The mail also said, "This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Trump Jr. replied within minutes, reported the Times: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Veselnitskaya who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign said on Tuesday she had no Kremlin ties and wanted to discuss U.S. sanctions on Russian officials, not Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

"I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton," Veselnitskaya told NBC News in an interview in Moscow. "It was never my intention to have that."

The New York Times reported on Monday that Trump Jr. was told in an email before the meeting that the lawyer's offer of information that might damage Clinton was part of a Russian government bid to aid his father's presidential campaign.

On Tuesday, the Times released the contents of that June 3, 2016 exchange, in which they claim the email, "could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton."

Natalia Veselnitskaya on meeting Trump jr.

Four days later, after a continued exchange, the intermediary wrote back, proposing to meet in New York with a “Russian government attorney.”

Trump Jr. himself took to Twitter immediately after the times published the contents of the email and tweeted his account of the conversation.

Publicist Rob Goldstone indicated in the message to U.S. President Donald Trump's eldest son that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information, the paper reported, citing three people with knowledge of the email.

Veselnitskaya did not know why Trump Jr. believed she was planning to offer damaging information about Clinton, saying she only knew he was willing to meet with her.

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

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