Trump Tower 2016 Meeting Transcripts Released: What We’ve Learned [FULL TRANSCRIPT]
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unveiled 2,500 pages of congressional testimony that reveal new information on the infamous meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016.
Transcripts From Trump Tower June 2016 Meeting Published
It has already been known for several months that among those who attended that meeting were Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who allegedly had direct connections to Vladimir Putin‘s government. President Donald Trump‘s eldest son reportedly agreed to the encounter because he was told he would get the opportunity to receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton just months before the 2016 election.
Reports from last year had also stated that English publicist and music manager Rob Goldstone had helped set up this meeting.
“If it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied to an email from Goldstone ahead of the meeting. Goldstone reportedly sent emails on behalf of Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov. Also present at the meeting were Goldstone, Trump’s son-in-law and current adviser Jared Kushner, his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as well as Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of Agalarov’s father.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has used information from this encounter to conduct part of his probe into collusion between the Russian government and Trump campaign officials.
According to The Washington Post, the transcripts released this week now reveal that Goldstone had stated his source could offer “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.” The documents add that this intel came from Russia’s “crown prosecutor,” which is not a real title but that Goldstone likely used to refer to a top justice official in the U.K., similar to an attorney general in the U.S.
Trump Jr. confessed to Congress that he was referring to the information about Clinton when he stated “I love it,” though he did not refer to Clinton by name. Instead, he simply called her “an opponent.”
Trump’s eldest son also reportedly admitted that his father “dictated some of the misleading explanations for the meeting,” according to the Post. This could potentially lead to charges on Trump for lying or hiding information about the encounter.
The president’s son also said his father may have tried to use then-communications assistant Hope Hicks to relay information about the meeting.
Trump Jr. also claims he never told his father about what was discussed in the meeting. However, a call from an unknown, blocked phone number has led people to wonder whether Trump — or someone acting on Trump’s behalf — called his son during that meeting.
The transcripts also say that Veselnitskaya has denied working for the Russian government in any capacity, though in a later in interview with NBC she admitted to being a Russian “agent.” Goldstone also reportedly said he believed at the time of the meeting that it was “an awful idea.”
Another revelation from the transcripts is a list of short notes Manafort took during the meeting. Among these notes were the terms “Bill Browder,” “Offshore – Cyprus,” “Active sponsors of RNC,” “Browder hired Joanna Glover” (a former aide to vice president Dick Cheney), and “Russian adoption by American families.”