The Latest: Trump Jr. calls charge of collusion ‘ridiculous’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the ongoing investigations into possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia (all times local):

10:30 p.m.
Donald Trump Jr. is saying that his meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer is the extent of his formal contact with Russia officials and associates.
Trump Jr. said Tuesday night in an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel that “he has probably met with other people from Russia” but insisted that he did not attempt to coordinate to impact the election or try to damage Hillary Clinton.
He repeatedly suggested that the charges of collusion were “ridiculous” and “overplayed” and insisted that his father knew nothing about the June 2016 meeting.
“It was such a nothing there was nothing to tell” his father, said Trump Jr.
The younger Trump did the interview hours after he released an email chain in which he said he would “love” to receive damaging information about Clinton from the Kremlin-connected lawyer.
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9:30 p.m.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is requesting information from the Departments of State and Homeland Security about a Russian lawyer who met with President Trump’s eldest son last year.
Donald Trump Jr. has acknowledged the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya and posted a 2016 email exchange to Twitter on Tuesday that showed he was involved in setting up the meeting.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote the departments to ask how Veselnitskaya was allowed to enter the United States. Grassley said that according to court documents, she was denied a visa to stay past January 2016, six months before the New York meeting.
The letter is part of a larger investigation Grassley has led into the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Grassley has expressed concerns that the law is not enforced.
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8:50 p.m.
President Donald Trump has sent out an encouraging message on Twitter to his son, who had a harrowing Tuesday after releasing a chain of emails about his meeting with a Russian lawyer.
“My son, Donald, will be interviewed by @seanhannity tonight at 10:00 P.M. He is a great person who loves our country!”
Trump Jr. was on the hot seat all day after releasing details of communications that led to his meeting with a Russian lawyer with hopes of obtaining compromising information on Hillary Clinton.
Emails show that Trump Jr. had been told by music promoter Rob Goldstone that a Russian government attorney wanted to share information on Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump had said little all day about the latest news about his son, but released a statement shared at the afternoon White House briefing: “My son is a high quality person and I applaud his transparency.”
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7:40 p.m.
In retrospect, maybe he would have done things differently.
That’s the message from Donald Trump Jr. following revelations that he met with a Russian lawyer with hopes of obtaining compromising information on Hillary Clinton.
The president’s oldest son is responding to the news in an interview with Fox News Channel personality Sean Hannity.
Emails show that Trump Jr. had been told that by music promoter Rob Goldstone that a Russian government attorney wanted to share information on Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. says the meeting “went nowhere,” but says: “In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently.”
The channel released excerpts from the interview before its 10 p.m. air time
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7:30 p.m.
Donald Trump Jr. says he never told his father about a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer who promised him compromising information on rival Hillary Clinton.
The president’s oldest son tells Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity that, “It was just a nothing. There was nothing to tell.”
The person who arranged the meeting had told Trump Jr. that the lawyer had compromising information that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. tells Hannity that he thought the information could prove useful.
He says: “Someone sent me an email. I can’t help what someone sends me,” adding: “I read it, I responded accordingly.”
He says that no useful information was shared and that the meeting ended up being a waste of time.
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5:40 p.m.
The top Democrat on a House oversight committee is requesting that President Donald Trump’s eldest son, his son-in-law and his former campaign chairman turn over a wide array of documents regarding a meeting they had with a Russian lawyer who they were told had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., says in a letter that he’s concerned that the decision to take the June 9, 2016, meeting raises questions about their “respect for the very principles that our democracy has been founded upon.” Cummings addressed the letter to Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
Cummings request came just hours after Trump Jr. released emails showing he eagerly accepted help from what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid his father’s campaign.
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3:55 p.m.
A Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 presidential campaign insists she had no compromising information on Hillary Clinton to offer — in contrast to what the email exchange released by Trump’s eldest son suggests.
Asked if she had compromising information on Hillary Clinton, Natalia Veselnitskaya told reporters Tuesday it is “not true” and Trump Jr. “was told so.”
“I never had compromising information and could not have had,” she says, adding that she does “not represent anyone other than myself.”
The lawyer insists she was “offered to meet with Trump Jr.” in a “private setting not connected to the fact that he is the son of the presidential candidate.”
The lawyer also claims she was not even sure that Donald Trump had already won the Republican nomination by then.
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2:30 p.m.
President Donald Trump says he his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is “a high-quality person,” and he applauds “his transparency.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a brief statement from the president Tuesday in response to revelations that Trump Jr. agreed to hear damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government’s effort to help his father.
Trump Jr. posted his emails with publicist Rob Goldstone on Twitter Tuesday. The emails with Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information that could “incriminate” Clinton and her dealings with Russia.
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2 p.m.
The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says emails by President Donald Trump’s eldest son show that a congressional investigation into Russian election meddling is “all that more important.”
On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. released an email exchange in which he showed interest in what was described as a Russian government effort to aid his father’s campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner dismissed that Trump Jr.’s eager acceptance of help could just be naiveté: He said: “Lying is not a rookie mistake.”
Warner also noted that Trump said in the exchange that the information could be good “especially later in the summer,” and that Clinton’s hacked emails were released around that time.
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1:10 p.m.
Republican senators are downplaying revelations that the president’s son agreed to hear damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government’s effort to help his father.
Senior Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah calls the matter “overblown,” describing Donald Trump Jr. as “a very nice young man.”
Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina appeared at a news conference with seven other GOP senators, insisting that Republicans should not be “distracted” by the latest reports on Russia and instead stay focused on their agenda. None of the other attendees at the press conference responded to a question on the new emails released by Trump Jr.
Sen. David Perdue of Georgia says several congressional committees are already looking at the matter.
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1:05 p.m.
Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager says the U.S. is facing a “serious national security crisis.”
Robby Mook was responding to the latest revelation that Trump’s eldest son met with a Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information on Clinton supplied by the Kremlin.
He told The Associated Press Tuesday: “They called us liars; They called us disgusting for suggesting Russians were behind this. Then they met the Russians and talked about information about Hillary Clinton.”
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1 p.m.
Vice President Mike Pence’s office says the vice president was not aware of a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian attorney who purportedly had dirt on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Pence’s spokesman Marc Lotter said Tuesday in a statement that the vice president wasn’t focused “on stories about the campaign, especially those pertaining to the time before he joined the campaign.”
Pence was named President Donald Trump’s running mate in mid-July 2016, several weeks after the June meeting involving the president’s son.
Pence’s office says the vice president is “working every day to advance the president’s agenda.”
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12:45 p.m.
A senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says emails released Tuesday by Donald Trump Jr. show that his father’s presidential campaign “sought to collude with a hostile foreign power to subvert America’s democracy.”
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said “the question is how far the coordination goes.” He called for lawmakers to “stand up and do their duty: protect and defend the Constitution.”
In the 2016 email exchange, President Donald Trump’s eldest son agrees to take a meeting involving what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid his father’s campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times reports that it was about to publish the content of the emails and had sought comment from Trump Jr. when he released the emails on Twitter.
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12:05 p.m.
A music publicist who promised President Donald Trump’s eldest son damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government offered to send the information directly to his father’s personal assistant.
Donald Trump Jr. posted his emails with publicist Rob Goldstone on Twitter Tuesday. The emails with Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information that could “incriminate” Clinton and her dealings with Russia.
Goldstone wrote that he was sending the “ultra sensitive” information to Trump Jr. first. But he noted “I can also send this info to your father via Rhona,” an apparent reference to the elder Trump’s longtime assistant Rhona Graff.
The Trump Organization has confirmed the authenticity of the emails, which Trump Jr. posted on Twitter.
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11:55 a.m.
A music publicist who promised President Donald Trump’s eldest son damaging information on Hillary Clinton said that a Russian singer and his father, a former Trump business associate, were helping a Russian government effort to aid Trump’s campaign.
Rob Goldstone made the statement in an email posted by Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter Tuesday. The emails show Goldstone telling Trump that singer Emin Agalarov and his father, Moscow-based developer Aras Agalarov, had “helped along” the Russian government’s support for Trump.
The elder Agalarov was involved with Trump in hosting the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. The two men also had preliminary discussions about building a Trump Tower in Moscow that fell through. Trump also appeared in a music video with the younger Agalarov.
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11:15 a.m.
President Donald Trump’s son told a person promising him damaging information about Hillary Clinton: “If it’s what you say I love it.”
Donald Trump Jr. posted his emails with publicist Rob Goldstone on Twitter Tuesday. The emails with Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information that could “incriminate” Clinton and her dealings with Russia.
Trump Jr. says in a statement that he released the exchanges “in order to be totally transparent.”
The Trump Organization confirmed the authenticity of the posts.
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11:10 a.m.
Donald Trump Jr. has released an email chain that shows him discussing plans to hear damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
In a statement Tuesday, Trump’s eldest son said he was posting the emails “in order to be totally transparent.”
The emails with music publicist Rob Goldstone show that Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had information that could “incriminate” Clinton and her dealings with Russia.
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8:30 a.m.
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee says the report that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer last year in the expectation of getting damaging information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign is “a very big deal.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told CNN Tuesday that his committee, which is investigating possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia, would summon the meeting participants “to get to the bottom of it.”
The New York Times reported late Monday that Trump Jr. was told ahead of time that the source of the information was the Russian government. Schiff said the report, if true, represents “an offer by the Russian government to help interfere in the American election on behalf of one of the candidates” and the first time “the inner circle of the Trump family…have direct contact with the Russians promising” information on Clinton.
In a statement, Trump Jr.’s New York-based attorney Alan Futerfas called the Times report “much ado about nothing.”
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7:30 a.m.
A Russian lawyer tells NBC’s “Today” show that she was summoned to Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign to meet with Donald Trump Jr. and asked if she had information on the Clinton campaign. The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told NBC she received a phone call from a man she didn’t know and was told to meet with the Trump campaign. She says she didn’t have information on the Clinton campaign and has never worked for the Russian government.
NBC’s “Today” and MSNBC aired an interview of the lawyer on Tuesday. It’s her first public comment since Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that he made time for the meeting hoping to get information on Clinton, his father’s Democratic presidential opponent.
Veselnitskaya says Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, attended the meeting but left after a few minutes. Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign chairman, also attended but never participated and spent much of the meeting on his phone. It wasn’t clear from the NBC report who in the meeting asked her for information.
On damaging information on Clinton, she says through a translator: “They wanted it so badly.”
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3:30 a.m.
The man who organized a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign says it occurred at the behest of a Moscow-based singer with family ties to Trump’s businesses.
Trump Jr. acknowledges he made time for the meeting, organized by music publicist Rob Goldstone, hoping to get information about Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Goldstone told Trump Jr. in an email ahead of the meeting that the Russian government was behind the information on Clinton. The Times cites three unnamed people with knowledge of the email.
Goldstone spoke to The Associated Press earlier Monday to confirm he had set up the meeting on behalf of his client, but he did not disclose the contents of the email described by The Times.