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The Cable

Did Trump Jr. Just Tweet Out the Smoking Gun?

The president’s son confirms reporting about the undisclosed June 2016 meeting with Russian representatives in a series of tweets.

trump jr

There may be a universe in which publicizing email exchanges showing active — and eagerly sought — support from the Russian government for the Trump presidential campaign is a smart move. This is not one of them.

Donald Trump Jr. just confirmed in a series of tweets the latest story in the the New York Times, which lays out what one former Justice Dept. official suggests could be a “digital smoking gun.” The Times story details how Trump Jr. was in email contact last summer with intermediaries purporting to represent Moscow, who suggested a meeting to discuss material that would “incriminate” Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and benefit the campaign of Donald Trump.

“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. responded, according to the Times — and also according to Trump Jr., who promptly took to twitter to post screenshots of his email exchanges, which were as the Times had reported.

“Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The [sic] Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday,” said intermediary Rob Goldstone, referring to Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star, businessman, and son of Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov, a close confidante of both Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

“The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” Goldstone wrote. (There is no such thing as a “crown” prosecutor in Russia, but there is a powerful prosecutor general.)

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin,” Goldstone wrote.

Trump Jr. said in an accompanying statement he was releasing the entire email chain “to be totally transparent” and insisted the meeting “occurred before the current Russia fever was in vogue.”

Trump Jr., like his father, long pretended that the multiple congressional and federal investigations into possible collusion between the campaign and Russian officials was some sort of “witch hunt” or “fake news.”

It turns out, based on Trump Jr.’s own emails, it’s anything but.

Photo credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

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