Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Transcripts give peek inside Trump Tower meeting

Transcripts give peek inside Trump Tower meeting

The committee released transcripts of five hours worth of testimony, taken in September of previous year, where Trump Jr. painted himself as a hapless innocent with convenient bouts of amnesia who just happened to have wandered into a meeting with a group of foreign agents eager to tip an election in his father's favor.

During the private meeting, the Committee members heard testimony from the former Director of national intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of the NSA Mike Rogers. He told the committee that he didn't alert his father to the meeting beforehand. In the Committee's conclusions does not address issues where there is an investigation: was there a conspiracy between the trump and the Russians to discredit the political opponent of the incumbent President, Hillary Clinton.

Like Trump Jr. and Kushner, who released his own statement about the meeting past year, Goldstone considered the meeting disappointing. Without interviews of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, adviser Jared Kushner and others, Democrats say "much of the truth remains hidden".

Trump Jr. famously said "I love it" when he was briefed ahead of time that the meeting could produce "incriminating" information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton that could hurt her campaign.

"I am specifically troubled by the possibility that Russian-backed shell companies or intermediaries may have circumvented laws created to prohibit foreign meddling in our elections by abusing the rules governing. tax-exempt organizations", Wyden wrote.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has interviewed Kushner and Manafort, and they may have even more information about the Trump Tower meeting still locked in their panel's secure Capitol Hill offices, as that investigation is ongoing.

Rinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer, recalled that Trump Jr. led the meeting.

Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also looking into the matter.

In an undated chain of text messages, Goldstone told Emin Agalarov that he was besieged by inquiries from journalists about the meeting and that he was trying to keep the Agalarovs' names out of his interviews.

Trump Jr. made a phone call after speaking with Russian pop star Emin Agalarov about the meeting, but we don't know who it was to because the number was blocked.

That statement said the meeting primarily concerned a Russian adoption program, though Trump Jr. later released the emails showing he agreed to the sit-down after he was promised information on Clinton.

Perhaps the biggest one: what President Donald Trump knew about the meeting and when he was told about it. He says he thinks the only time he responded was to say, "Hey, when (am I) going to receive the next leak"? The group also has said it is re-examining its relationship with Torshin, who was among 17 Russian government officials recently hit with Treasury Department sanctions that bar Americans from doing business with them. Admits that his far may have participated in drafting of a White House statement that meeting had been proposed as part of Russian effort to help omitted election campaign. The Trump Tower meeting, and the administration's initial response to reports of it, has been one focus of the probe.

The document also noted that Butina "refused to cooperate" when she testified before other committees. For example, Trump Jr.

Kaveladze works for Agalarov's father, a Russian developer who partnered with Donald Trump to host the Miss Universe contest in Moscow in 2013.

Goldstone told Trump Jr. she wanted to share some information about Clinton as "part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump". An Agalarov employee told the committee his boss tried to make the meeting happen, "secretly" requesting it through a Russian government employee.

The Senate committee's findings clash with the House GOP's determination that the intelligence community did not follow its own best practices in concluding the Kremlin favored Trump in the election.

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