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Donald Trump Jr.'s emails seem to confirm there was a 'back-channel' between Russia and his father

Donald Trump Jr.'s attempt to be "totally transparent" may have just confirmed the existence of "a back-channel" between President Trump and the Russian government, the New Republic's Brian Beutler noted in a tweet shortly after Trump Jr. on Tuesday released his email chain setting up his meeting in June 2016 with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer. In the emails, publicist Rob Goldstone says he has incriminating information about Hillary Clinton that's "part of Russia and its government's support for [President] Trump" and offers to send it to President Trump "via Rhona."

Rhona Graff, per Politico's report in March, has been "the gatekeeper at Trump Tower for a quarter century." The president has reportedly kept her around now that he's at the White House "for those who want to quietly offer advice, make personnel suggestions, or get on the president's calendar when he's at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida." Politico reported that Trump associate Roger Stone described Graff as the "favored point of contact for 'anyone who thinks the system in Washington will block their access.'"