Trump Jr. admits Goldstone arranged meeting with Russians for dirt on Hillary

Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 18:38.

ITV, “Donald Trump Jr releases Russian meeting emails”, 11 July 2017:

Donald Trump’s eldest son was offered a meeting with a Russian lawyer to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of a Kremlin-sponsored effort to boost Mr Trump’s presidential campaign, according to documents released today.

      He replied: “If it’s what you say I love it”.

Donald Trump Jr published what he said were the full transcripts of his emails with a businessman who offered to set up the meeting in the run-up to the 2016 elections which took his father to victory.

It comes as he faces growing scrutiny over what appears to be strongest evidence yet of direct Russian links to the Trump presidential campaign at the highest levels.

The transcripts show Mr Trump Jr, who was deeply involved in his father’s presidential campaign, was told he was being passed the contact as “part of Russia and it’s Government’s support for Mr Trump”.

Russian Oligarch’s son, Rob Goldstone

The transcripts indicate that Mr Trump Jr was contacted in early June 2016 by music publicist Rob Goldstone, whom he had met at a 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russia.

It offered to put him in contact with a Russian lawyer who he said had information that would “incriminate” rival presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.


“This is obviously very high-level and sensitive information but it is part of Russia and it’s Government’s support for Mr Trump,” the message said.

It added the information “would be very useful to your father”.

“If it’s what you say I love it, especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied to Goldstone in the exchanges which he posted to Twitter.

The emails say the alleged leak came via the “Crown Prosecutor of Russia”. That is a position that does not exist, though Russia does have a Prosecutor General.

Mr Trump Jr has acknowledged that a meeting with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, did subsequently take place at Trump Tower.

He insisted that in fact no information on Clinton was given to him, and the supposed leak was “the most inane nonsense I ever heard”.

The Trump Jr. delegation was actually disappointed with Veselnitskaya. They had sought more dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The growing concern over the contact comes after allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to benefit Mr Trump.

Those claims are currently the subject of an ongoing politically-charged investigation in the US.

Mr Trump has firmly denied that there was any contact between his campaign and the Russian government.

Last updated Tue 11 Jul 2017



Posted by Evidence of Trump collusion piling up on Wed, 12 Jul 2017 17:58 | #

Video shows Trump in the company of Rob Goldstone.

Washington (CNN)Video obtained exclusively by CNN offers a new look inside the web of relationships now at the center of allegations of collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

The video shows the future President Donald Trump attending a dinner with an Azerbaijani-Russian family who became Trump’s business partners in Las Vegas in June 2013. It also shows their publicist, Rob Goldstone, who would later send Donald Trump Jr. the emails that have brought the eldest Trump son to the center of the controversy over possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

Evidence of Trump collusion piling-up.

Administration sought damning evidence against Hillary from high levels of Russian Government.

It will be impossible for Trump to deny that collusion was attempted by his administration.




Posted by Journalist: Trump/Russian picture of collusion on Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:36 | #

NPR, “Journalist Investigating Trump And Russia Says ‘Full Picture Is One Of Collusion”, 21 Nov 2017:

OK. So another story about Donald Trump’s connection to Russia - in this case, a Russian oligarch - so this is the story of a Trump mansion that Trump bought in Florida for $41 million, and a few years later, sold it for about twice that amount to Dmitry Rybolovlev. You’re going to have to say it. I can’t get it right.

HARDING: Rybolovlev - Dmitry Rybolovlev.

GROSS: Rybolovlev, OK.

HARDING: Rybolovlev.

GROSS: And Rybolovlev never used the mansion and later sold it. Is the implication that this purchase by the Russian oligarch might’ve been for money laundering purposes?

HARDING: You’re right. It was a kind of seaside mansion bought by Trump in 2004 and then sold by him for $95 million at the height of the financial crash and giving him a profit of about $50 million. And I’ve tried to interview Rybolovlev. He won’t meet with me, but I’ve talked to his press guy and - who says that Rybolovlev basically donned a pair of swimming trunks and never set foot in the mansion but kind of paddled along the territory and saw it from afar, decided to buy it.

When he did buy it, he realized it had a mold problem. He never, ever lived there. He demolished it, and it seems a kind of pretty disastrous piece of real estate acquisition, but one that massively enriched Trump. Now, his press guy says, nothing to see here, this was a reasonable investment, you guys are all conspiracy theorists. But it’s very strange.

GROSS: So Rybolovlev, the oligarch we are talking about, is connected to President Trump’s Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. And they’re connected through the Bank of Cyprus. So Bank of Cyprus is apparently a bank known for enabling money laundering. Is that accurate?

HARDING: Yeah, yeah, that’s accurate.

GROSS: And so Wilbur Ross in 2014 became this bank’s chief shareholder, and Rybolovlev owns - what? - 10 percent of that bank.

HARDING: Less now, but he did.

GROSS: OK. So what’s - tell us about that connection between Rybolovlev and Wilbur Ross.

HARDING: So Cyprus is a kind of Mediterranean island that is a kind of major offshore node both in this story and in other Russia stories. Essentially, any self-respecting oligarch doesn’t keep his money inside Russia but offshores it. And Cyprus is the most kind of logical destination. One of the people who did this was Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian oligarch who bought Trump’s mansion. He got Cyprus citizenship along the way.

But where the story gets interesting is, one of his sort of investment partners in the Bank of Cyprus was Wilbur Ross, the future commerce secretary. And again, Rybolovlev says he doesn’t know Ross, that there’s nothing really special going on here apart from the fact that one of the other shareholders is a former KGB guy. And this is the thing with the kind of Trump-Russia story - that wherever you look, all of the people in Trump’s government, especially in its early stages, have a kind of Russia connection.

I mean, it’s - obviously, Trump did the picking, but it’s almost as if Putin had the kind of last word because we’ve got Wilbur Ross, who as well as the Bank of Cyprus, we now know was doing business of our shipping company with Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law. We have Michael Flynn, whose woes are well-known, but clearly, was taking money from Russia Today, the Kremlin propaganda channel, and other Russian interests and not declaring it. Then we have Rex Tillerson. I mean, he was a famous oil guy. I used to write about him in Moscow, and he got this Order of Friendship from Vladimir Putin - sort of a sky blue ribbon pinned to his chest. And he pops up as U.S. secretary of state almost from nowhere.

And so we go down the list, whether it’s from policy aids like Carter Page or George Papadopoulos, who’s pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, or Trump associates like Felix Sater, longtime business pal, or Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer, who’s married to a Ukrainian. I mean, the sort of constellation of Russian connections circling around planet Trump is just quite extraordinary. And I think this, more than anything else, is what Mueller is now looking at.

GROSS: So another thing about Rybolovlev, the Russian oligarch we’re talking about - he’s the one who sold the da Vinci a few days ago for about $450 million.

HARDING: He is. He’s a kind of major art investor. He had da Vincis. He had Modiglianis. He had Rothkos. He kind of had everything - Picassos - but then he went through a very bitter divorce with his Russian wife, and a lot of the stuff got carved up. And, of course, the da Vinci got sold. But to whom it got sold, we don’t know.

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross back with Luke Harding, author of the new book “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money And How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win.” It’s based on original reporting as well as on the Russia-Trump dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. Harding is a foreign correspondent for the Guardian and its former Moscow bureau chief.

So let’s talk a little bit about Paul Manafort, who before he became Donald Trump’s campaign chair, worked for Viktor Yanukovych, who was the Russian-connected head of Ukraine who was not democratic, was forced out of the country. And it was after that Ukraine - that Russia sent troops into Ukraine. So Manafort had signed a $10 million annual contract with Oleg Deripaska. Who is Deripaska? And why is that contract significant?

HARDING: Well, Deripaska - I met him in Moscow. He’s a terrifically rich, terrifically powerful oligarch, one of the sort of top five, 10 oligarchs in the country who, of course, is close to Vladimir Putin. You don’t get to be a multibillionaire in charge of kind of the aluminum industry without being politically impeccably connected. And we didn’t know this until relatively recently, but Manafort was brought in to basically advise the - Russia on how to kind of improve its image.

So he started kind of working in this world, and quickly, some news spread that he was actually a very talented operator and political technologist. And around about sort of 2004, ‘05, he starts working for Viktor Yanukovych, who - made Yanukovych. I mean, he’s a former sort of Soviet hooligan who did time in jail for petty theft, who Manafort basically reinvested - reinvented as a kind of reformer and a statesman and a Democrat.

This, at least, is what Manafort told me in 2008 when I met him in Kiev, in Ukraine’s capital. And he was responsible for this astonishing makeover. And the thing is, it sort of worked. It was like kind of what happened to sort of Trump. I mean, Yanukovych was the guy before Trump, if you like, because Manafort told me that, OK, so he came from the Soviet Union, OK, so some of his sort of - some things he did in the past were pretty unsavory; but actually, now this was a good guy looking to the West, looking to America and so on.

And Manafort actually was instrumental in getting Yanukovych elected president in 2010, an election I covered. And within months, he had locked up the opposition leader, a woman called Yulia Tymoshenko. He kind of basically suborned parliament, squashed the press, which was kind of more plural than Russia’s, and had kind of pushed the country towards a sort of authoritarian direction. And in fact, everything that Manafort told me turned out to be lies he must surely have known. But he was supremely well-rewarded for these efforts.

We think he - from the indictment by Robert Mueller, he must have made at least $75 million from his work in Ukraine. And he spent a decade in that part of the world. He doesn’t speak Russian. He had an interpreter. But he was mingling with people at the top of Russian and Ukrainian power. And from this job - there’s a interval of a matter of weeks - he goes straight to the Trump campaign, offers his services, allegedly free, and is advising Donald Trump on how to be president.

GROSS: Right. But you say allegedly free. Apparently, Manafort said, I will do this without pay, which is a very unusual offer.

HARDING: Well, I mean, if you’re getting $75 million from Russian and Ukrainian interests, then perhaps you can afford to work for free (laughter).

GROSS: That - right. Right.

HARDING: I mean, so - but, I mean, it’s a very kind of curious leap from one to the other.

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