White House

Here's what Donald Trump Jr. said and when he said it about meeting a Russian lawyer

Key Points
  • Donald Trump's eldest son releases emails that led to his meeting with a Russian attorney.
  • The emails shed light on how Trump Jr.'s meeting was arranged.
Donald Trump Jr. releases emails saying he was offered Clinton dirt as part of Russia's 'support' for his father

The plot thickened Tuesday after Donald Trump Jr. released email exchanges setting up the June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer who, according to an intermediary, had damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Here's a timeline of Trump Jr.'s statements in response to reports about the meeting.

Representatives for President Donald Trump have repeatedly said he was "not aware of and did not attend" the 2016 meeting between his son, son-in-law Jared Kushner, then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

July 8

The New York Times reports that the president's son agreed to meet with a Russian lawyer on June 9, 2016, five weeks before his father accepted the Republican nomination.

After being asked about the meeting, the younger Trump and Kushner confirmed the matter to the Times. Trump Jr. told the newspaper the meeting focused on a Russian adoption program that had been suspended after the U.S. imposed sanctions against Russian human rights violators. Kushner referred questions about the meeting to his brother-in-law, the Times said.

Trump Jr. also said he was not told the name of the lawyer coming to Trump Tower.

July 9

The Times reports that Veselnitskaya "promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton."

After being confronted by the Times with the new report, Trump Jr. said he agreed to meet with the Russian lawyer after being asked to do so by an acquaintance, Rob Goldstone. He also said he asked Manafort and Kushner to attend the meeting, "but told them nothing of the substance" beforehand.

The president's son also said Veselnitskaya mentioned she had information about the Democratic nominee.

"Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense," he said. "No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information."

After that discussion about Clinton, Trump Jr. said, the conversation pivoted to the topic of the adoption program.

July 10

In a statement to NBC News, Goldstone said he agreed to facilitate the meeting and that the lawyer had said she had some "information regarding illegal campaign contributions to the DNC."

A new Times story reported about Trump Jr.'s explanations about the meeting, alleging the president's son had given different explanations within 24 hours. The younger Trump pushed back against the story, denying "inconsistency in statements."

@DonaldJTrumpJr: No inconsistency in statements, meeting ended up being primarily about adoptions. In response to further Q's I simply provided more details.

Trump Jr. subsequently tweeted: "Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen."

@DonaldJTrumpJr: Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen.

A source told NBC News that that the Senate Intelligence Committee is interested in interviewing Trump's eldest son about his meeting with the Russian lawyer. Trump Jr. said he would be "happy to work" with the committee.

Trump Jr. also hired lawyer Alan Futerfas to deal with matters related to the Russia investigations.

July 11

In an NBC News interview that aired Tuesday morning, Veselnitskaya denied that she had Kremlin connections.

At midday, Trump Jr. released a chain of emails in an effort "to be totally transparent."

Times deputy managing editor Clifford Levy tweeted that Trump Jr. released the emails after he learned the newspaper was writing about them.

@cliffordlevy: .@DonaldJTrumpJr posted these emails after being informed that The New York Times was doing a story on them http://nyti.ms/2tEHZgL

In the first email, dated June 3, 2016, Goldstone describes the Russian lawyer as a "Crown prosecutor of Russia ... with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be useful to your father."

Trump Jr. responds, saying "if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer."

In an email dated June 8, the day before the meeting, Trump Jr. forwarded the chain to Kushner and Manafort.

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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