THE TRUMP/RUSSIA TIMELINE: UPDATES THROUGH JULY 11, 2017

These are my latest additions to the Bill Moyers & Company overall Timeline relating to Trump and Russia. You can read the entire Timeline here. The Pence Timeline, Comey Firing Timeline, and Kushner Timeline have also been updated to include relevant entries.

***

  • June 3, 2016: Rob Goldstone, a music publicist, sends Donald Trump Jr. an email stating that one of his clients, Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, had “something very interesting” he wanted to pass along to Donald Jr.: “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with 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—helped along by Aras and Emin.” (Aras Agalarov—a Putin ally and wealthy real estate developer sometimes referred to as the “Trump of Russia”—had helped sponsor the Trump-owned 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. In a later interview with Forbes in March 2017, Emin Agalarov says that he and his father had previously signed a letter of intent with their Trump counterparts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. “He ran for president, so we dropped the idea,” Agalarov said of Trump and the project. “But if he hadn’t run we would probably be in the construction phase today.”) [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on June 3, 3016: Responding to Goldstone’s email, Donald Jr. says, “[I]f it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.” Donald Jr. suggests they talk early during the week of June 6, when he’s back from the road. [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • June 7, 2016: Rob Goldstone sends Donald Jr. a follow-up email: “Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and the Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow this Thursday. I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you? I assume it would be at your office.” Confirming the date and time, Donald Jr. says that then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner will also attend. The following day, they move the meeting to 4pm because the “Russian attorney is in court until 3….” [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on June 7, 2016: After winning the New Jersey primary as the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for president, Trump includes this line in his victory speech: “I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week [June 13] and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons.” [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • June 9, 2016: Natalia Veselnitskaya, the “Russian government attorney” referenced in Goldstone’s earlier emails to Donald Jr., meets at Trump Tower with Donald Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner. The lawyer was formerly married to a former deputy transportation minister of the Moscow region. Her clients include state-owned businesses and a senior government official’s son, whose company is under investigation in the United States at the time. [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on June 9, 2016: Trump tweets:

 

[Added July 11, 2017]

***

  • July 6, 2017: En route to the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany where he will meet privately with Vladimir Putin, Trump stops in Poland to deliver a speech. At a news conference NBC News’ Hallie Jackson asks: “Mr. President, can you once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?” Trump answers, “Well, I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries.” He then excoriates President Obama for doing “nothing” in the face of the Obama administration’s conclusion that Russian meddling was underway. “The reason is, he thought Hillary was going to win,” Trump continues. Pressed again on whether he agrees with the “definitive” conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the election, Trump says, “I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries…. Nobody really knows for sure. I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. How everybody was 100 percent sure that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Guess what—that led to one big mess. They were wrong.” [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on July 6, 2017: The Financial Times reports that Felix Sater has agreed to cooperate in an international investigation of a Kazakh family’s real estate dealings. The head of the family—Viktor Khrapunov, a former Kazakh minister now exiled in Switzerland—is reportedly under investigation for allegations that he embezzled government funds and hid the cash in other countries throughout the world, including the US. Deeds and banking records obtained by the Financial Times show that in April 2013, members of the Khrapunov family purchased three apartments in Trump SoHo for a grand total price of $3.1 million from a holding company in which Trump held a stake. [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • July 7, 2017: For the first time since the 2016 election, Trump meets Vladimir Putin. The only other attendees to their private, two-and-a-half hour session are Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and two interpreters. [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on July 7, 2017: In an off-camera interview with the press after the Trump/Putin meeting, Tillerson says that Trump opened the session by “raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election…. The President pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past.” Responding to a later question about whether Trump “was unequivocal in his view that Russia did interfere with the election,” Tillerson says, “The Russians have asked for proof and evidence. I’ll leave that to the intelligence community to address the answer to that question. And again, I think the President, at this point, he pressed him and then felt like at this point let’s talk about how do we go forward.” [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on July 7, 2017: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov offers a different version of the Trump/Putin meeting, saying, “President Trump said he’s heard Putin’s very clear statements that this is not true and that the Russian government didn’t interfere in the elections and that he accepts these statements. That’s all.” [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • July 8, 2012: At a press conference concluding the G-20 summit, Putin responds to questions about whether Russian meddling in the 2016 election was a subject of their private meeting. “[Trump] was really interested in some details. I, as far as I could, answered all this in detail,” Putin says through a translator at the press conference, which a Russian state-owned news channel broadcasted. “He asked me, I answered. He asked clarifying questions, I explained. He appeared to me satisfied with these answers.” [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on July 8, 2017: The New York Times first reports the story of the June 9, 2016 meeting that Donald Jr. had arranged with Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and a Kremlin-connected lawyer. In response, Donald Jr. issues this statement: “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… I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.” [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • July 9, 2017: As The New York Times prepares to report that the Russian lawyer with whom Donald Jr., Kushner, and Manafort met on June 9, 2016 was supposedly going to be offering them damaging information on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. issues a new statement changing his story from less than 24 hours earlier: “I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign. I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to attend, but told them nothing of the substance. We had a meeting in June 2016. After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information. She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act. It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting. I interrupted and advised her that my father was not an elected official, but rather a private citizen, and that her comments and concerns were better addressed if and when he held public office. The meeting lasted approximately 20 to 30 minutes. As it ended, my acquaintance apologized for taking up our time. That was the end of it and there was no further contact or follow-up of any kind. My father knew nothing of the meeting or these events.” [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • July 10, 2017: Donald Trump Jr. tweets:

 

[Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on July 10, 2017: Donald Trump Jr. confirms that he has hired a criminal defense attorney to represent him in connection with the Trump/Russia probe. [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • Also on July 10, 2017: The New York Times reports on the email from Rob Goldstone to Donald Jr. preceding the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower among Donald Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties. [Added July 11, 2017]

 

  • July 11, 2017: Donald Jr. posts his June 3-8, 2016 email exchanges with Rob Goldstone that culminate in the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the person Goldstone described as a “Russian government attorney.” In his accompanying statement, Donald Jr. says that he knew Emin from the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow. “Emin and his father have a very highly respected company in Moscow,” he continues. “The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research…To put this in context, this was before the current Russian fever was in vogue.” [Added July 11, 2017]

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