Transcript Reveals Why Don Jr. Agreed to Meet With That Russian Lawyer in Trump Tower and It Sure Sounds Like Collusion

Donald Trump, Jr. greets his father, Donald Trump. (Photo by Rick Wilking-Pool/Getty Images)

The Senate Judiciary Committee released nearly 2,000 pages of transcripts of interviews they conducted with some of the players in meetings that took place between members of the 2016 campaign for President Donald Trump and Russian representatives.

With so many pages to weed through, the story is continuing to evolve. But so far it is not looking good for Donald Trump Jr.'s reputation and integrity.


It is already known that the junior Donald initially lied about the purpose of his Trump Tower meeting with Russian representatives. At one point he claimed the meeting was about adoption.

But according to his testimony before the senate, he met for one purpose: gather any dirt the Russians could provide on his father's presidential rival, Hillary Clinton. In an excerpt from the transcript, Don Jr. states he was there solely for the purpose of getting information to use against Clinton.

Q. But what is it that specifically you were interested in getting out of that meeting?

A. I was interested in listening to information.

Q. Information on Hillary Clinton?

A. Yes.

Q. Information on Hillary Clinton that came potentially from the Russian government?

A. Again, I had no way of assessing where it came from, but I was willing to listen.

Rob Goldstone, a publicist by trade, was the man who brokered the meeting for Russian real estate investor, Aras Agaralov and his son, musician Emin Agaralov. Goldstone told the senate he did not think the meeting was a good idea and advised the Russians against it.

I believed it was a bad idea and that we shouldn’t do it. And I gave the reason for that being that I am a music publicist. Politics, I knew nothing about. And I said, neither do you and neither does your father. And the answer was simply, I'm only asking you to get a meeting.”

Goldstone sent the email that set up the meeting after speaking with Emin and being told that Aras Agalarov met with a “well-connected Russian attorney” that morning who had potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

That attorney is believed to be Russian government informant Natalia Veselnitskaya. Veselnitskaya made the presentation at the resulting meeting with the eldest son of the president.

Goldstone said he sent the email to Trump Jr rather than the presidential candidate directly because,

when Emin said , contact the Trumps, I wasn’t sure if the right way to do it would’ve been through [Trump’s assistant] Rhona Graff or through Don Jr., and I made the call that he was the lesser level, and that I would run this past him first, rather than send it down a more official routing.”

From the transcript of his testimony, Goldstone states he was at the meeting for a "somking gun" to use against Hillary Clinton.

Q. This morning you had testified about the June 9th meeting and your actual participation during the meeting. You said that you were awaiting a smoking gun at the meeting, and you were waiting to see if there were to be any reaction to that?

A. Yes, the smoking gun. I mean, I just sent somebody an email that says I'm setting up a meeting for someone that is going to bring you damaging information about somebody who was running to become the President of the United States. I thought that was worthy of the words smoking gun, yes.

Q. So the smoking gun refers to damaging information?

A. Well, yes. I mean, that's the basis on which I requested the meeting. So I thought there might be some -- smoking gun might b e a bit of a ridiculous word to use, but what I was saying was, I expected there to be something that would make people react, and, therefore, there was a reason to have made this request.

Q. So your expectation of going into the meeting was that there would be a smoking gun?

A. Based on what I had requested, I believed there would be some "damaging information," which is why I had been asked to set up the meeting in the first place

Q. Throughout the course of the entire meeting, did you ever hear any damaging information?

A. Well, again, I don't know what would be deemed damaging, but I didn't hear anything that I would deem to be damaging. And I didn’t see anybody react in a way that I believed people would react if they heard damaging information.

As analyses of the transcripts continue, it is hard to say what potential fallout this could have for the president or his son. Only time will tell.

Win McNamee/Getty Images // CBS Television Distribution

In December, President Donald Trump established the United States Space Force, a sixth branch of the United States Army.

The goal of the force is to protect United States assets in outer space from foreign rivals and is slated to cost around $2 billion in the next five years.

Today, Trump unveiled the official logo for the Space Force, but people think it bears a striking resemblance to another iconic symbol.

Keep reading...
Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images // JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

People were stunned this past July when President Donald Trump tweeted that four Congresswomen of color—Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)—should "go back" to where they came from.

He also falsely claimed they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe..."

Three of the Congresswomen were born in the United States. Omar was a refugee from Somalia. All are Americans.

At a campaign rally days later in North Carolina, President Donald Trump mentioned Congresswoman Omar—and got a strong reaction from the crowd.

While bigotry is common at a Trump rally, it became even more blatant when Trump's supporters began chanting "Send her back," echoing the calls from Trump's tweet for them to "go back" to where they came from.

Keep reading...
Fox News

As Democratic House impeachment managers make their case against President Donald Trump, one of his favorite news networks is going to lengths to keep the bevy of evidence against him from reaching their viewers' ears.

At first, Fox News tried scrolling Trump's so-called accomplishments alongside live video of the historic proceedings. Now, the network's latest attempt to distract from the Democrats' arguments is raising eyebrows even higher.

Keep reading...
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images // Alex Wong/Getty Images

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was one of the first witnesses in the House of Representatives' initial impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Vindman testified before the House's select committee on impeachment late last year after hearing Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Keep reading...
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The administration of President Donald Trump relies on its white Evangelical base to keep its support consistently hovering around 40 percent.

In keeping with this, President Donald Trump often invokes anti-abortion values he claims to hold dear. He's falsely claimed that Democrats are determined to rip babies from their mothers' wombs and that parents often discuss with their doctors whether or not to keep the baby...after the baby is born.

These claims are patently false, but they rile up the base.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems to be playing right along in promoting abortion hysteria, if a recent speech is any indication.

Keep reading...
Fox News

After hours of evidence presented by the House Impeachment managers in the Senate trial against President Donald Trump, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) strayed even further into the abyss of fanaticism as he defended the President to reporters.

Graham, a Trump critic turned ally, didn't attempt to refute any of the myriad evidence laid out by Democrats, but instead dismissed the claims that Trump did anything wrong when he withheld congressionally approved aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his political rival.

Keep reading...