Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Seven things we learned from the Trump Tower transcripts

Senate Intel Panel Agrees Russia Intervened In 2016 Presidential Election Witnesses disagree on Kushner timing at Trump Tower meeting
Ebony Burgess | 17 May, 2018, 06:59

The Senate intelligence committee said Wednesday that it agrees with the USA intelligence agencies' assessment that Russian Federation intervened in the 2016 presidential election to hurt the candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton and help President Donald Trump.

Senate Judiciary Democrats said the transcripts are just "one piece of a much larger puzzle" and do not tell the entire story because some participants were not interviewed and Republican chairman, Sen.

The committee did not interview Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer at the center of the meeting.

The published testimonies underpin Trump Jr.

The committee released transcripts of five hours worth of testimony, taken in September of a year ago, where Trump Jr. painted himself as a hapless innocent with convenient bouts of amnesia who just happened to have wandered into a meeting with a group of foreign agents eager to tip an election in his father's favor.

The findings depart from the House Intelligence Committee's report last month, which implied that Russia's goal was more to sow discord than specifically aid Trump.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to release a declassified version of its report on the ICA's findings in the coming weeks.

Publicist and music promoter Rob Goldstone "arranged the meeting at the request of pop singer Emin Agalarov", who told Trump, Jr., what they may receive. Among those attending was lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin.

Summiting Sherpas Set Pair of Mount Everest Records
Weather turned favorable Tuesday night when scores of climbers made a summit push targeting to reach the top Wednesday morning. A guide for more than two decades, he broke the previous record of 21 summits that he shared with two other Sherpas.

Bradley A. Smith, a former Bill Clinton-appointed Republican Federal Election Commission member, said based on what's known about the meeting, Trump Jr.'s actions are unlikely to be considered illegal solicitation.

Trump has taken umbrage at the intelligence community's determination that the Kremlin favored his candidacy over Clinton's. The left has also received nothing since they hoped this would help prove collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

"It was the gorilla in the room that had to be addressed, but there seemed to be no answer to address it", Goldstone told the committee.

Goldstone testified that Kushner became visibly angry during the meeting. But the panel released her written responses to a letter that Grassley sent her previous year.

The White House has said the president was involved in drafting an initial statement after news of the meeting broke a year ago. Goldstone told Trump Jr. she wanted to share some information about Clinton as "part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump".

"The House Intelligence Committee majority's assertion that Russian Federation did not aim to assist Trump or that the Intelligence Community fell short in applying rigorous analytical tradecraft now stands in lonely isolation - rejected by the Intelligence Community, by the findings of the Mueller investigation and by Intelligence Committee members in both chambers who have objectively reviewed the facts", he said.

"I don't know what would be deemed "damaging" but I didn't hear anything that I would deem to be damaging ... and I didn't see anybody react in a way that I believed people would react if they heard damaging information", he said. Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California and the House intelligence panel's ranking member, said in a statement that he "fully concur [s] with the conclusion of the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee that the ICA's determination that Russian Federation sought to help the Trump campaign, hurt Hillary Clinton, and sow discord in the United States is fully supported by the evidence".

But when asked several times about his response, Trump Jr. downplayed the perceived enthusiasm in his email and stated the campaign was more focused on the upcoming Republican National Convention.

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