Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump Jr.: Can't recall discussing Russian Federation probe with father

Trump Jr.: Can't recall discussing Russian Federation probe with father

Mr Goldstone testified to the Senate committee that when the deal was almost completed to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow following meetings in Las Vegas in June of 2013, there was an immediate effort to "determine if and when a meeting could or would take place" between Mr Trump and Mr Putin.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee agreed.

Their statements affirmed the U.S. intelligence community's assessment, and departed from the findings of the House Intelligence Committee last month, which implied that Moscow's goal was to sow discord in the United States and not necessarily to help Trump.

The report focuses on Alexander Torshin, a Putin ally and deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russian Federation, and his assistant Maria Butina.

Mr Donald Trump's desire to meet Mr Vladimir Putin was so fierce that as Mr Trump and his team prepared for their 2013 trip to Moscow to host the Miss Universe pageant, they strategised about how the American reality-television star might be able to huddle with the Russian President.

"The Kremlin may also have used the NRA to secretly fund Mr. Trump's campaign", the minority report concluded. The report says the matter "needs examination".

The committee released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts of interviews with Trump's son and others who attended a June 9, 2016, meeting at which they expected to receive dirt about Trump's opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate panel, said his staff spent 14 months "reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work" conducted by the intelligence agencies.

The special counsel is investigating the Russian meddling in the election, whether Trump's campaign was involved and possible obstruction of justice.

Warner said Monday that, "Everyone that we've ever had testify still stands by the full findings of the ICA, " referring to the intelligence community's assessment. His initial explanation of the meeting suggested it was primarily about adoptions, though that explanation quickly fell apart.

Trump Junior said he doesn't remember discussing the Russian Federation investigation with this father.

Kushner, who Grassley previously said had been "spooked" out of testifying, and Manafort, who has since been indicted on money laundering and assorted other charges, did not appear before the committee.

Mr Goldstone e-mailed Mr Trump's personal secretary, Ms Rhona Graff, on July 22, 2015, just six days after Mr Trump launched his presidential campaign, inviting Mr Trump to attend Mr Aras Agalarov's 60th birthday party on Nov 8 of that year in Moscow.

But when asked several times about his response, Trump Jr. downplayed the perceived enthusiasm in his email and stated the campaign was more focused on the upcoming Republican National Convention. The transcripts show that even before reports of the meeting surfaced in the media, Trump Jr. attorney Alan Futerfas started contacting a number of meeting participants to ensure their accounts were consistent.

"We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump", the ICA said.

"All else being equal, I wouldn't have wanted to waste 20 minutes hearing about something that I wasn't supposed to be meeting about", he said.

"I don't know what would be deemed 'damaging, ' but I didn't hear anything that I would deem to be damaging", Goldstone said.

In a series of increasingly panicked messages to Emin Agalarov, which were released alongside the testimony, Goldstone said his career was imploding. "I'm not sure that the House was required to substantiate every conclusion with facts, " Burr told reporters last week, promising the Senate panel would "have the facts to show for" its conclusions.

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