Trump Tower transcripts released

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The Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday endorsed the findings of the intelligence community's report on Russia's 2016 election interference, and its findings that Russian President Vladimir Putin worked to aid President Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

According to the transcripts, Trump Jr. also said he didn't think there was anything wrong with attending the Trump Tower meeting in which he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Republican Chuck Grassley, released its interviews with Donald Trump Jr., Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, and Moscow-based developer Ike Kaveladze.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly honed in on both the meeting and the varied explanations the Trump team has offered about it as he investigates possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, as well as possible obstruction of that probe by the President.

He said he was not aware whether anyone else on the campaign had contact with WikiLeaks.

That's according to transcripts of Trump Jr.'s testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee.

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As more damaging details about the true objective of the meeting trickled out, Trump Jr. on July 9 issued a new statement admitting that he had actually sought damaging information on Clinton from these Russian actors.

After longtime Trump assistant Rhona Graff said that it would be hard to attend the party because of Trump's presidential campaign, Goldstone said he made another offer.

Indeed, rather than being puzzled and disinterested by the meeting, as Kushner had suggested, Goldstone described the husband of Ivanka Trump as being animated by what he heard from Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The congressional panel released Kaveladze's transcript from the November 2017 interview on Wednesday.

It lasted four minutes and came sandwiched between two phone calls Mr Trump Jr had with Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani-Russian businessman and music star who was pushing for the Trump Tower meeting.

The documents cover more than 1,800 pages of transcripts of interviews with those connected to the controversial meeting that, when it was revealed, fueled allegations of Trump campaign coordination with Russian Federation.

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"Numerous" people were involved in the statement, including counsel, and the President "may have commented through [then-communications staffer] Hope Hicks", Trump Jr. continued. "The committee's staff interviews reveal that top Trump campaign officials were frustrated and angry that the meeting did not produce enough damaging information on their opponent". But the panel released her written responses to a letter that Senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley sent her a year ago.

"It did not talk about what got them into the door, and I didn't expand on it because I didn't think it was relevant to discuss what the meeting was not actually about", Trump Jr. said of the initial Air Force 1 statement.

On the other hand, it seems like the Agalarovs - and Mr Goldstone - went through an bad lot of work to set up a meeting where Natalya Veslinstkaya and her associates only wanted to talk about adoption policy and sanctions imposed by the Magnitsky Act.

Comey, who was sacked by Trump past year and recently released a book about leadership that described his encounters with the president and likened Trump to a mafia boss seeking loyalty, was also invited to testify but was not expected to appear, according to the committee aide.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a report last month that found "no evidence" of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and also accused the intelligence community of not using "proper analytic tradecraft" in its judgment of Russia President Vladimir Putin's "strategic objectives for disrupting the USA election".

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