On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. revealed emails that show Russia was trying to help his father defeat Hillary Clinton last year, and solicited his help. The emails say that Russia was supportive of Donald Trump, even meeting with a "Russian government attorney."
This seems to contradict so, so many of the things that Trump Jr. has said in the past.
We can start with an interview that Trump had with CNN's Jake Tapper in July 2016, roughly one month after his meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. In that interview, Trump called said Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook lied when he said that the the release of hacked DNC emails was part of, in Tapper's words, a "plot to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton."
"They will lie and do anything to win," Trump said, referencing the DNC's warnings about emails being hacked."I don't mind a fair fight, but these lies, and the perpetuating of that kind of nonsense to try to gain some kind of political capital, is just outrageous, and he should be ashamed of himself."
Trump Jr. has also shifted his story about the meeting with Veselnitskaya on several occasions. In his first official statement about the meeting, Trump Jr. insisted that it was about "a program about the adoption of Russian children." Then, on Sunday, Trump Jr. claimed that "after pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton."
His lawyer subsequently claimed that "Don Jr. has no knowledge as to what specific information, if any, would be discussed."
According to emails Trump himself released, he knew the subject would be "ultra sensitive information" about Hillary Clinton that came straight from Russia.
Of course, Trump Jr.'s most infamous line about Russia (perhaps until the emails released today, at least) was when he told a New York real estate conference in 2008 that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
But here is a montage of senior Trump aides — including Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump — say flat-out that no one during the campaign had contact with Russian officials.