What happened and when: The timeline leading up to Donald Trump Jr's fateful meeting

Donald Trump Jr was reportedly informed that the person with whom he was meeting on June 9 could offer negative information about Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump Jr was reportedly informed that the person with whom he was meeting on June 9 could offer negative information about Hillary Clinton.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - A report from the New York Times on Monday (July 10) evening indicated that Donald Trump Jr had been informed in an e-mail before a June 9 meeting of last year that the person with whom he was meeting could offer negative information about Hillary Clinton that came from the Russian government.

That, alone, is significant.

It has also been used as the jumping-off point for a number of broader theories of how the Trump campaign might have colluded with the Russian government.

For example: Did that meeting precipitate Mr Donald Trump's tweet about Mrs Hillary Clinton's deleted e-mails? Well, no, almost certainly not.

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Below, a timeline of the events leading up to that meeting and some of the theories that are floating around it.

November 2013

The Miss Universe pageant, at this point part of the Trump Organisation, is held in Moscow. The event's location was secured thanks to licensing fees of nearly US$20 million ($27.6 million) paid by a Moscow real estate development firm called the Crocus Group.

Its president is a man named Aras Agalarov. Shortly after the pageant, Trump tweets his enthusiasm about working with Agalarov on a real estate development.

Agalarov's son, Emin, is a vice-president of Crocus Group - and a pop singer.

Later that month, a new video is released by Emin Agalarov, starring Donald Trump.

Emin Agalarov's publicist in the United States is a man named Rob Goldstone.

March 2015

Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while she served as secretary of state is made public. Clinton reveals that she turned over work-related e-mails to the government for the purposes of maintaining records but that personal e-mails on the server were deleted.

Some 31,000 e-mails fell into that latter category, screened by a team of attorneys.

Summer 2015

Hackers believed to be linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) gain access to the network of the Democratic National Committee.

March 19, 2016

John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, is e-mailed a link asking that he change his password. This is believed to be the way that hackers gained access to Podesta's e-mail account.

April

Hackers believed to be linked to Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) also gain access to the DNC network.

May 17

Trump tweets about Clinton's deleted e-mails.

May 26

An Associated Press report indicates that Donald Trump has secured enough unpledged Republican delegates to assure that he will be nominated candidate for the presidency.

June 2

During a speech in San Jose a few days before the California primary, Trump again refers to the e-mails deleted from Hillary Clinton's private server.

"By the way, Hillary Clinton is missing 30,000 e-mails," he says. "They've been deleted. 30,000. 30,000."

Trump was discussing a New York Times story about his relationships with women. He noted that one of the women critical of him in that story had previously praised him over e-mail - which he still had in his possession.

June 3, 10.36 am

Goldstone e-mails Donald Trump Jr:

Good morning

Emin (Agalarov) just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and it's government's support for Mr Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

-"Rhona" is Rhona Graff, Donald Trump's assistant.

10.53 am

Trump Jr replies to Goldstone:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

June 6, 12.40 pm

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info - you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day Best to you and family

3.03 pm

Trump Jr asks Goldstone over e-mail if he can speak with Agalarov at that moment. In a later e-mail, he asks Goldstone to have Agalarov call his cell phone.

3.43 pm

Goldstone e-mails Trump Jr to tell him that Agalarov is on-stage at the moment but that he can have him call in 20 minutes.

4.38 pm

Trump Jr thanks Goldstone for his help. It's not clear from this e-mail if the two spoke.

June 7, 4.20 pm

Goldstone e-mails Trump Jr:

Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.

I believe you are aware of the meeting - and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?

-It's still not clear, but this e-mail may suggest that Trump Jr and Agalarov spoke.

5.16pm

Trump Jr suggests a meeting at 3pm. This is later changed to 4pm.

June 7, evening

Trump wins the primaries in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, giving him the delegates to officially clinch the Republican nomination.

During his victory speech that night, Trump promises more dirt on Clinton.

"I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting," he says.

The following Monday was June 13.

June 9, 10.53am

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican Party, enters Trump Tower. He's there as the Trump campaign launches its effort to fundraise for the general election.

That effort includes a lunch meeting that Manafort attends.

2.22pm

Trump attacks Hillary Clinton on Twitter.

2.27pm

Clinton responds.

3.12pm

Rob Goldstone checks in to Trump Tower on Facebook. "Preparing for meeting," he writes.

3.57pm

Goldstone checks in at Trump Tower again, though this time he accidentally selects Trump Tower Indonesia.

4pm

The meeting takes place, lasting about half an hour. In attendance are Trump Jr, Manafort, Kushner, Veselnitskaya and Goldstone.

 

According to Trump Jr, Veselnitskaya offered no useful information about the Clinton campaign.

"Her statements were vague, ambiguous, and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information," he said in a statement to the Times. When Veselnitskaya turned the subject to sanctions, Trump Jr says he told her that his "father was not an elected official, but rather a private citizen, and that her comments and concerns were better addressed if and when he held public office."

In an interview with NBC, Veselnitskaya said that Kushner only stayed for the first seven to 10 minutes and didn't return. She also said that Manafort was looking at his phone the whole time.

4.40pm

Trump responds to Hillary Clinton's insult by mentioning the deleted emails.

June 12

Omar Mateen murders 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

June 13

Trump gives a speech in New Hampshire focused on national security. Later in the month, he again promises a speech targeting Clinton directly.

June 15

A person calling himself "Guccifer 2.0" releases a DNC opposition file on Trump, stolen from the Democratic party's network. It's the first of a flood of leaks that would come over the next few months.

July

The FBI begins a counterintelligence operation focused on Russia's attempts to meddle in the 2016 election.

 

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