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Report: Trump Jr. told in email Russian government wanted to help his father's candidacy

In June 2016, Donald Trump Jr. received an email saying a Russian lawyer who wanted to meet with him had damaging information about Hillary Clinton, and the source of her material was the Russian government, which wanted to aid his father's candidacy, The New York Times reported Monday.

The email, described to the Times by three people with knowledge of it, was sent by Rob Goldstone, a publicist who represents Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, whose father, Aras Agalarov, was Donald Trump's business partner in bringing the 2013 Miss Universe pageant to Moscow. Aras Agalarov is a real estate tycoon and close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Trump appeared in one of Emin Agalarov's music videos.

It was reported on Saturday that the meeting between Trump Jr. and Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya took place June 9 at Trump Tower. Trump Jr. told the Times they merely discussed adoption of Russian children by Americans, but after new reporting came out Sunday, he told the Times he met with Veselnitskaya after learning she had information on Clinton, but what she told him was "ambiguous" and "made no sense." The meeting was also attended by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, and his then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Goldstone told the Times Monday he was asked to broker the meeting by Emin Agalarov, who said Veselnitskaya had "information about illegal campaign contributions" to the Democratic National Committee. He also said it was his understanding she was a "private citizen" and Emin Agalarov just wanted to set the meeting up as a favor. Trump Jr.'s recently retained attorney, Alan Futerfas, told the Times that in his view, "this is much ado about nothing." There are several investigations going on now, looking into whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials before the election. Read the entire report, including Futerfas' full response, at The New York Times.