Donald Trump promised a “major speech” attacking campaign rival Hillary Clinton last June, just hours after his son, Donald Trump Jr., set up a meeting with a Russian lawyer he was told had compromising information on the Democratic candidate.
In a speech on June 7, 2016, first flagged by Washington Post reporter Philip Bump, then-candidate Trump promised vaguely to discuss “all the things that have taken place with the Clintons.”
“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,” Trump said at the time. “I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. I wonder if the press will want to attend. Who knows?”
Trump’s promise of big Clinton news came four days after his eldest son was contacted by publicist Rob Goldstone about information obtained by the Russian government that would be damaging to Clinton, according to emails Trump Jr. released Tuesday.
Trump Jr.’s emails show that Goldstone offered a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who Goldstone said had information on Clinton that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. replied simply: “If it’s what you say I love it.” A meeting between the two was set up for several days later, confirming the timing via email around 5 p.m. on June 7. Hours later, his father began the speech.
Trump Jr. later met with the lawyer in a session that included the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Trump Jr. said he did not tell his father about the meeting.
Donald Trump failed to follow through on his campaign promise to reveal dirt on Clinton. He instead focused a June 13 event in New Hampshire on national security issues. The Post noted he pledged to reveal damning information on Clinton at a later date.
A hacker, which U.S. intelligence agencies have linked to Russia, began releasing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee on June 15, 2016. The intelligence agencies say the Kremlin actively worked to influence the presidential election in favor of Trump under the direction of President Vladimir Putin.