The Atlantic

If There Was No Collusion, It Wasn’t for Lack of Trying

Donald Trump Jr. made clear he was willing to receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer in a June 2016 meeting.
Source: Stephanie Keith / Reuters

Since his presidential campaign was first alleged by critics to have colluded with the Russian government to undermine Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump has been consistent—and unusually so—in steadfastly denying it. Now it seems clear that if his denials are true, it isn’t because Trump’s advisers were unwilling to collude. And that confirmation comes, surprisingly, from Trump’s own son and namesake, Donald Trump Jr.

On Saturday, The New York Times reported that Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer at Trump Tower in early June 2016. Trump Jr. initially told the paper that the meeting had covered only a dispute over adoption related to the Magnitsky Act, an American law meant to punish the current Russian regime for human-rights abuses. But three unnamed White House aides briefed on the meeting later told the Times that Trump Jr. had taken the meeting after being promised damaging information about Clinton.

Trump Jr. then changed his story, claiming he’d been promised only information relevant to the campaign, by an intermediary he met at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, owned by his father and hosted in Moscow. (The Washington Post later identified him as Rob Goldstone, a

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