WASHINGTON – The contradictions uttered by President Donald Trump’s government and his closest advisers about their suspected Russian connections reached their peak this week when the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., published some emails in which he said he loved the idea that the Kremlin would give him some ammunition against Hillary Clinton.
Suspicions of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to harm the former Democratic presidential candidate’s chances in the 2016 US election grow stronger day by day, as details about meetings and contacts between the Trump team and Moscow emerge and that no one can deny.
Hounded by leaks from the White House itself, the president has spent recent months denying most of them and calling reports about Russian interference in the US elections “fake news,” “a witch hunt” and “nonsense.”
However, the most telling information up to now in the Russia investigation has been provided by his son.
Pressured by the information obtained by The New York Times last weekend, Donald Trump Jr. ended up publishing some emails from June 2016 in which he enthusiastically welcomed the idea of receiving harmful information about Clinton from a Russian lawyer identified as Natalia Veselnitskaya.
The newspaper reported that Trump Jr., together with the head of Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort, and his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, met with the Russian lawyer.
When he gave his original version of that meeting, Trump Jr. did not mention any discussion about campaign strategy or his father’s rival in the election, nothing like what came later.
“It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up,” Trump Jr. said.
The next day, aware that the White House was again in trouble over the Russia case, Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s attorney, issued emails saying that the meeting was a setup.
After that failed to calm the critics, Rob Goldstone, the publicist who arranged the meeting with Veselnitskaya, told Trump Jr. in an email that he was going to receive “some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone added.
To which Trump Jr. replied, “If it’s what you say I love it.”
Those emails represent the most concrete evidence up to now about possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.