Trump Jr. knew meeting for dirt on Clinton was part of Russian plan to help Trump win presidency: report

WASHINGTON — A new report says the man who set up a meeting for a Russian lawyer to give Donald Trump Jr. potentially damaging material about Hillary Clinton indicated in an email to Trump Jr. that the Russian government was the source of the information.

The New York Times report Monday cited three unnamed people with knowledge of the email from music publicist Rob Goldstone.

Goldstone spoke to The Associated Press earlier Monday to confirm he set up the meeting on behalf of his client, a Russian singer. Goldstone said the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, stated she had information about purported illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee that she thought Trump Jr. might find helpful.

Trump Jr. has acknowledged taking the meeting to learn damaging information about Clinton. But this would be the first public word he had been made aware the material could have been emanating from the Kremlin.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat says he “absolutely” wants to hear from Trump Jr. about the meeting.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner says, “This is the first time that the public has seen clear evidence of senior-level members of the Trump campaign meeting with Russians” to obtain information damaging to Clinton.

Warner wouldn’t say if he already knew about Trump Jr.’s meeting as part of his panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Warner says the revelations “move us forward, and we expect much more to come.”

Trump Jr. tweeted Monday that he’s “happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know.”

He has retained a New York-based lawyer to represent him. The president has his own legal team. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Vice President Mike Pence are also among those with lawyers.