Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Jared Kushner's Story About Trump Tower Meeting Is Contradicted By Multiple Witnesses

Jared Kushner's Story About Trump Tower Meeting Is Contradicted By Multiple Witnesses

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday split from their colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee, agreeing with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help then-candidate Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

The material, which includes interview transcripts and other "exhibits", is available here.

Trump Jr. also said he did not inform his father about the meeting ahead of time, because he didn't want to bring him "unsubstantiated" information. He said he desperately needed a lawyer, wanted to speak publicly about the case but couldn't because the Trump lawyers wouldn't let him and was hoping to be compensated by the Agalarovs for his troubles.

Trump Jr. deflected multiple questions during the interview, saying "No, not that I recall" when asked if he discussed the Russian Federation probe with his father.

"I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry", he said in a statement. "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the Committee".

Trump Jr. convened the meeting with his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the campaign's then-chairman, Paul Manafort.

The meeting has been the subject of controversy, particularly the question of whether then-candidate Trump knew about it.

In addition to Mr Trump Jr, the committee interviewed four other people who attended the Trump Tower meeting in NY - publicist Rob Goldstone, who set up the meeting with the promise of dirt on Mrs Clinton; Rinat Akhmetshin, a prominent Russian-American lobbyist; Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow-based developer, and a translator.

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Asked to account for the evolving statements, Trump Jr. told Senate investigators that "they're all very consistent with each other".

Trump Jr.'s account contrasted sharply with contemporaneous reports from the Washington Post and New York Times that cast the President as directly involved in the wording of that July 8 statement.

The Judiciary Committee documents also reveal suggestions that a Russian social network, VK, might have offered to help with voter outreach on behalf of Trump to Russian-speaking Americans.

Following the publication of the documents, Trump Jr. said they showed that he "answered every question asked" by the committee. Most notably, the President's eldest son minimized how involved Trump was in crafting a July 2017 statement aboard Air Force 1 that served as the family's initial public comment on the Trump Tower meeting. "Americans can now review this unfiltered information and arrive at their own conclusions". "I wasn't part of the meeting, but yes, I believe I was aware that it had occurred".

Asked if he thought it would be a problem to take a meeting described to him as part of a Russian government effort to aid his father, Trump Jr. said no.

"The committee's staff interviews reveal that top Trump campaign officials were frustrated and angry that the meeting did not produce enough damaging information on their opponent", the 10 Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by California Sen.

The Agalarovs had bonded with the Trumps during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

President Trump has cited that finding and argued that the continuing investigations in Congress and by the Justice Department are just a "witch hunt".

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