At a Tuesday press conference to discuss the latest developments in the Russia investigation, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) deemed Donald Trump Jr.'s recently released emails "very significant" and "deeply disturbing."
The emails between Trump Jr. and publicist Rob Goldstone about a potential meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer offer "new public information about direct contacts" between the Trump campaign and Russia, Schiff said. Goldstone reached out to Trump Jr. about a Russian source who could potentially provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton, to which Trump Jr. responded that he'd "love it" if that were the case. Schiff contended "all the campaign denials" about contacts with Russia "obviously now have to be viewed in a completely different context."
Schiff said he now wants to investigate whether the meeting "was just the beginning" or "a testing of the waters by the Russians to see whether the campaign would be receptive to their engagement and involvement in the presidential election." He also made clear the Trump campaign did not disclose the emails to the FBI, which he called a "breach of civic responsibility" and "of norms."
Goldstone claimed in the email exchange that the information "would be very useful" to President Trump and was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Trump Jr. himself publicized the emails in a tweet Tuesday.
Schiff said the House Intelligence Committee "will certainly want" Trump Jr. to testify in a hearing.