Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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A White House not exactly known for its message discipline is fumbling its response to Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer during the 2016 campaign, with new explanations that arise on a near-daily basis become increasingly harder to square with each other.

While maintaining its original defense, that the President himself did not know about the meeting, the Trump administration and the President’s team of outside lawyers have offered up a slew of additional and at times conflicting rationalizations for it. Since the rendezvous was first reported just over a week ago, it has been justified as standard political opposition research; cast as part of a Democratic smear campaign; defended as the naïve undertaking of a 39-year-old “good kid” trying to help his father; and, most recently, blamed on the U.S. Secret Service.

The Trump team’s first response to the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr., his brother-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was to blame the Democrats. Mark Corallo, spokesman for Trump’s legal team, told the New York Times that Veselnitskaya and her fellow guests “misrepresented who they were,” and noted that she had worked with a firm that Democratic operatives retained to produce opposition research on Trump.

The President himself remained quiet, and stayed that way as damaging details about the true purpose of the meeting trickled out. After Trump Jr. got ahead of the Times by releasing a chain of emails via Twitter that revealed a bombshell—he’d attended a meeting expressly billed as an opportunity to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign— Corallo would say only that Trump “was not aware of and did not attend” the meeting.

When Trump finally spoke out in support of his son in the middle of last week, he described him as a political neophyte who just was trying to help the campaign. He praised Trump Jr.’s “transparency” for publishing the entire email chain in which the meeting was arranged, praising him as a “high-quality person” and “good kid.”

“He had a meeting, nothing happened with the meeting,” Trump said.

“Honestly, in a world of politics, most people are going to take the meeting,” he continued. “If somebody called and said…hey, I have really some information on Donald Trump. You’re running against Donald Trump. Can I see you? I men, how many people are not going to take that meeting?”

The President and his defenders have continued to describe the meeting as standard “opposition research,” despite a ream of tweets and articles from opposition researchers and GOP campaign veterans explaining that digging through public records and media appearances for damaging information about an opponent is vastly different than soliciting the help of a hostile foreign government. Even Chris Wray, Trump’s nominee to lead the FBI, said that emails like the one Trump Jr. received should be reported to the bureau.

“Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don Jr attended in order to get info on an opponent,” Trump insisted in a Monday morning tweet. “That’s politics!”

Trump’s outside counsel got more creative over the weekend with a fresh defense: The Secret Service should have prevented the meeting from ever happening.

“I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in,” attorney Jay Sekulow said in an ABC News interview. “The President had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me.”

Putting aside the fact that Trump’s team previously said his son did not know the names of the people he would be meeting, the Secret Service quickly dispatched with that argument by noting that Trump Jr. was not under its protection when he attended the meeting.

“Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time,” spokesman Mason Brayman said in a statement.

In his round of Sunday show hits, Sekulow offered up another talking point popular among White House officials, including Trump’s deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, that deflects attention to Democrats. Sekulow claimed that “information actually was shared” between “the Ukrainians and the DNC and the Clinton campaign.”

That is an overreaching distillation of a January Politico article that reported Alexandra Chalupa, a former consultant for the Democratic National Committee, conducted independent research on Manafort’s work in Ukraine. Chalupa told Politico that she shared some of what she’d learned with officials at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington and the DNC.

This throw-everything-at-the-wall-to-see-what-sticks approach may convince some voters or at create a new headline or two to divert some attention from the substance of the meeting. But each fresh rationalization, or excuse, for why Trump Jr. agreed to participate in a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign is sure to be fodder for congressional and federal investigators probing the exact circumstances that led up to the pivotal meeting at Trump Tower.

The list of participants at a pivotal June 2016 meeting between senior members of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer said to have dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government’s efforts to help Trump, with CNN reporting on Friday that the number of known attendees had reached a total of “at least eight.”

Some of those present have confirmed their attendance at the Trump Tower meeting, arranged by a Trump family acquaintance, British publicist Rob Goldstone, who told Donald Trump, Jr. that his contact had information of great value to the campaign. Others remain nameless, for now.

The known participants include Trump Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner, Goldstone, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who Goldstone told Trump Jr. possessed this highly sensitive information, has also confirmed her attendance, although she denies discussing the U.S. election and having any connection to the Russian government.

Another attendee made himself known on Friday: Rinat Akhmetsin, a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who had teamed up with Veselnitskaya to lobby against a U.S. sanctions bill that resulted in Russian President Vladimir Putin banning American adoptions of Russian children. Both Akhmetsin and Veselnitskaya have said the meeting focused on the adoption issue.

CNN reported that the Trump Tower meeting was even more crowded, however. A source familiar with the sit-down told CNN that at least two other people, who were not named, were in attendance. One was a translator and the other was a representative of the powerful Russian family close to Putin who asked Goldstone to arrange the meeting with Trump Jr., according to the report.

Arav Agalarov, a real estate magnate, and his pop star son, Emin, helped Trump put on a Miss Universe competition in Moscow in 2013, and teamed up with him to create a Trump-branded tower in Moscow that was ultimately never built.

In his initial email to Trump Jr., Goldstone said that Emin Agalarov requested he hold a meeting with a lawyer who had “very high level and sensitive information” that is “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump—helped along by Aras and Emin.”

President Donald Trump and his team are casting it as absurdly conspiratorial to suggest there was anything odd about his oldest son accepting a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer last June, noting that Russia was not a major campaign issue at the time.

But a close look at the timeline suggests that Donald Trump, Jr. took a meeting billed as an opportunity to learn information obtained as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” at a moment when his father was taking heat from his opponent for his sunny view of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and shortly before the Kremlin’s disinformation and targeted leaking campaign against the Democrats began in earnest.

“You have to understand, when that took place, this was before Russia fever,” Trump told Reuters on Wednesday. “There was no Russia fever back then, that was at the beginning of the campaign, more or less.”

Trump Jr. took a similar tack on Tuesday when he took the surprise step of releasing the email chain leading up to his June 2016 meeting with a woman described to him as a “Russian government lawyer” who was said to have “information that would incriminate Hillary” Clinton. “To put this in context, this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue,” Trump Jr. said in a statement accompanying the email release.

This version of events does not tell the whole story. The campaign had already been underway for a year, and the news was full of articles about Trump’s “bromance” with Putin prior to the Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin. Headlines declared that Putin had ordered state-owned U.S. media outlets like RT to promote Trump’s candidacy and tear down Clinton’s, and questions swirled about Trump advisers’ business connections in Russia.

On June 2, 2016 Clinton gave her first major speech on national security—in effect, a speech about Trump. The presumptive Democratic nominee repeatedly invoked Trump’s bond with Russia’s leader, accusing him of praising “dictators like Vladimir Putin” and having a “bizarre fascination with dictators and strongmen who have no love for America.”

“He said if he were grading Vladimir Putin as a leader, he’d give him an A,” Clinton told the San Diego, California crowd of Trump, warning that such an unsavvy stance would allow a leader like Putin to “eat your lunch.”

The very next day, Rob Goldstone, a British publicist and family friend of the Trumps, first contacted Trump Jr. about the “very interesting” information a client of his had on Clinton.

“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied to the promise for dirt in Clinton, days after his father had clinched the presidential nomination for the Republican Party.

While Goldstone and Trump Jr. worked out the details of the meeting in a series of back-and-forth emails, then-candidate Trump hinted at a June 7 campaign rally that he would soon give a “major speech” about 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,” Trump said at the time, promising information on their “corrupt dealings” to give “favorable treatment” to “the Russians” and other foreign governments. “I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.”

At the same time, the apparatus for publishing stolen emails and documents involving Democratic Party leaders and operatives—later determined to have been hacked by Russian operatives—was being put into place. On June 8, DC Leaks, a site established to publish some of the stolen documents, posted its first tweet.

The Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr., the campaign associates and the Russians came on June 9; both sides have said it was inconsequential, with Trump Jr. insisting he did not receive the damaging information he came for and the Russian participants claiming the conversation focused only on a defunct program enabling the adoption of Russian children by Americans.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a longtime Clinton critic, hinted in a June 12 interview that his site had a “very big year ahead,” promising the imminent release of emails “related to Hillary Clinton.”

Those emails wouldn’t drop until just before the Democratic National Convention in late July, but the public learned about the DNC breach at around this time via a June 14 Washington Post article that attributed it to hackers working on behalf of the Russian government. “Guccifer 2.0,” later determined by computer experts and U.S. officials to be a persona invented by Russian intelligence officials, began contacting U.S. news sites to claim credit for the hack and to offer stolen Democratic Party documents.

Putin praised Trump as a “bright” person at the Russian Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on June 17.

Amid this background and other major news events, Trump delayed his promised “major speech” on Clinton. After postponing it to account for the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Trump promised in a June 21 tweet that a “big speech” about Clinton would come the next day.

From a stage in New York, Trump held forth about Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attacks, her support for free trade and her “temperament.” None of these criticisms were new, but Trump added what would later seem a prescient warning: emails Clinton deleted from her private server could make her vulnerable to “blackmail” from countries hostile to the United States, he said.

As Trump cautioned, “We can’t hand over our government to someone whose deepest, darkest secrets may be in the hands of our enemies.”

A new report out Thursday from Yahoo News added new details to the timelines of when people close to the President knew about his son Donald Trump, Jr.’s now-infamous meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer and when Jared Kushner disclosed foreign contacts he’d omitted from his security clearance application.

The President’s private lawyers were notified more than three weeks ago about emails setting up a June 2016 meeting between his eldest son and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who claimed to have incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

The President has given an inconsistent timeline for when he learned about the meeting. He told reporters on Wednesday that he only heard about it “two or three days ago” before acknowledging that it might have been “mentioned at some point” previously. By Trump’s account, he learned about the rendezvous between Veselnitskaya, Kushner, and his then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort from his son, and he was informed only this week that the meeting’s purpose was to obtain dirt on Clinton.

It’s unclear if Trump’s legal team concealed the meeting from their client after they were informed about it in the third week of June, or if the President is not being upfront about when he learned about it.

A spokesman for Trump’s chief lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, declined Yahoo’s request for comment, saying the matter involved “privileged information.”

This new wrinkle vastly complicates the narrative laid out by the President. When the New York Times first reported on the meeting last weekend, his outside legal team’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, released a statement implying that it had been a set-up by Russian operatives who had worked with Democrats. Donald Trump, Jr. initially claimed that the participants only discussed “the adoption of Russian children” and made no mention of the presidential campaign.

The Times later reported that Trump Jr.’s statement had been crafted by White House advisers who debated how forthcoming to be, and that Trump himself signed off on it. After Trump Jr. belatedly acknowledged that he went to the meeting in hopes of obtaining information about Clinton, Corallo released a new statement saying only: “The President was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”

The Yahoo story also provided critical new details about Kushner’s application for a top-secret security clearance, or SF-86, which helped bring the meeting to light.

While reviewing documents in preparation for Kushner’s testimony before Congress, his lawyers discovered the email chain that arranged the meeting. They immediately moved on June 21 to amend his SF-86 for the second time to include his contact with Veselnitskaya, and informed Trump’s legal team around the same time, according to Yahoo.

Kushner initially omitted all of his foreign contacts on the SF-86 he submitted on Jan. 18, and later had to file three separate supplemental disclosures. The first was on May 11, when Yahoo reported he listed over 100 meetings with officials from over 20 countries, including the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and the CEO of a Russian state-owned bank. The FBI, which approves security clearances, interviewed Kushner about the matter in mid-May, according to Yahoo.

The White House adviser was interviewed by the FBI a second time on June 23, two days after updating his application to include the Veselnitskaya meeting.

Kushner’s lawyers have insisted he accidentally left his meetings with foreign government officials off his initial application, telling Yahoo a member of his staff prematurely hit the “send” button on the form before it was completed.

Susan Hennessey, a former attorney at the National Security Agency’s office of general counsel, wrote on Twitter that this defense didn’t make sense because SF-86 forms are either submitted by hand or require a multi-step verification process if submitted electronically.

The e-file form details a 28-step process to submit an investigation request.

This post has been updated.

Storm clouds have been gathering above the lightly-tousled head of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and trusted White House adviser, since April. But they split wide open this week amid damaging revelations about Kushner’s participation in a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, in addition to a fresh report about investigators’ interest in the data operation he was responsible for during the campaign.

Already a “person of interest” in the special counsel’s probe on multiple fronts, federal investigators are now looking into Kushner’s attendance at a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was one of more than 100 foreign contacts disclosed in three separate revisions to his security clearance forms. They’re also probing whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation, which Kushner oversaw, coordinated with Russia to guide fake news stories to key districts in swing states.

Democratic lawmakers and political observers on both sides of the aisle are questioning how Kushner can maintain the security clearance he needs to work on his overstuffed portfolio, or if he can even stay in the West Wing at all, given those reports. On top of that, White House aides and Trump’s legal team have been spilling in the press their concerns that Kushner’s continued presence is endangering the President.

Kushner, who is known for keeping his head down, has made no public comment on the latest revelations. TPM’s requests for comment to the White House press office were forwarded to Kushner’s spokesperson, who did not respond.

It’s unclear whether Kushner intentionally omitted all of his foreign contacts from the security clearance form he initially filed in January; why he needed to file three amended disclosures to detail the more than 100 foreign contacts he did have; what he discussed in those conversations with foreign nationals; and why he agreed, on very short notice, to attend a meeting billed as an opportunity to obtain dirt from a “Russian government lawyer” as part of a Russian government effort to help the Trump campaign. That sit-down with Veselnitskaya apparently only came to light because Kushner’s lawyers discovered it as they reviewed documents to prepare for his testimony before Congress, prompting him to immediately file a supplementary disclosure.

“I’ve worked with colleagues over the years whose clearance was suspended or revoked for far smaller violations than leaving something of this consequence off their SF-86,” Derek Chollet, strategic planning director on Obama’s National Security Council, told TPM, using shorthand for the Standard Form 86 security clearance application.

Trump’s advisers and supporters have invoked the trite phrase “nothing burger” to brush aside concerns about the Veselnitskaya meeting, and the President has insisted it was nothing more than a “very standard” example of trying to obtain opposition research. Many opposition researchers and GOP strategists have argued otherwise, noting that this was an offer from a foreign agent to meddle in another country’s political affairs.

“If he’s had a meeting with a former employer or a private-sector company or a friendly foreign government that’d be one thing, but given that it’s Russia, it’s in an entirely different category,” Republican strategist and campaign veteran Matt Mackowiak told TPM. “And should be.”

Other longtime political operatives, many of whom have been highly critical of the Trump administration, say that Kushner’s meetings are grounds for dismissal or resignation.

“Still marinating on fact that the below actually happened and 0 people have quit,” former Jeb Bush communications director Tim Miller, wrote on Twitter.

Former Obama Justice Department spokesperson Matt Miller called it an “unbelievable scandal” that Kushner retained his White House post and security clearance.

Kushner’s foreign contacts have dogged him since the New York Times first reported in April that meetings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and the CEO of a Russian state-owned bank under U.S. sanctions were among those omitted on his SF-86. That report first prompted calls from Democratic lawmakers for Kushner’s interim security clearance to be revoked, which grew louder the following month with news he proposed establishing a secret, secure communications channel with Russia during the transition to the White House.

Meanwhile, federal investigators are reviewing Kushner’s personal finances and Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI director James Comey over the “Russia thing,” which Kushner reportedly supported. Trump’s legal team is growing concerned that Kushner’s centrality to the Russia investigation and closeness to the President could pose a legal risk.

The Times reported that Kushner had told Trump about the Veselnitskaya meeting when he filed his amended disclosure about it, but that he downplayed its significance, assuring his father-in-law that nothing valuable was learned.

Private conversations like that are deeply troubling to Trump’s outside legal team, which is working overtime to minimize his exposure to the Russia scandal, according to reports in the Times and Axios.

The ring on Kushner’s finger provides the best form of job security, as the President is unlikely to fire the husband of his daughter and close White House adviser, Ivanka. But Trump hasn’t said much of anything about Kushner this week, even as he’s defended his son, Donald Trump, Jr., who invited Kushner to the rendezvous with Veselnitskaya.

In a Thursday press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump called his eldest son a “great young man” and a “fine person.” He did not reference Kushner, who by all accounts skipped out of the meeting early, by name, noting only there were “two other people in the room.”

Mackowiak said to expect more strategic distancing and drawn knives from this notoriously leaky, fractious administration as the multiple Russia investigations ramp up.

“Three months ago all their interests were aligned,” he said. “As the story continues to develop, that breaks down over time. They all have their own interests, they all have their own legal strategies, they have to think about themselves.”

President Donald Trump’s stated timeline of when he learned about the meeting his eldest son attended as part of an explicit Russian government effort to deliver information that would help his campaign makes little sense and conflicts with reporting about when he was first notified about the meeting.

Trump insists that, like the public, he only learned recently about the meeting Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and adviser, and Paul Manafort, his then-campaign manager, held at his Trump Tower campaign headquarters in June 2016.

Dismissing the uproar over the clearest evidence yet that members of his campaign’s inner circle were willing to accept Russian help, Trump told Reuters on Wednesday afternoon that “many people would’ve had that meeting,” which he only learned about “a couple of days ago.”

By Wednesday evening, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Paris, that timeline had narrowed.

“He had a meeting, nothing happened with the meeting,” Trump said, referring to his 39-year-old son as a “good boy.” “It was a short meeting as he told me—because I only heard about it two or three days ago.”

“As he told me, the meeting went—and it was attended by a couple of other people who—one of them left after a few minutes—which is Jared. The other one was playing with his iPhone,” he added. The iPhone fiddler apparently referred to Manafort.

In the same conversation, Trump conceded that he actually may have been told about the meeting with the Kremlin-linked lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, at some point between when the meeting happened last year and when reports about it appeared in the New York Times over the weekend.

“In fact maybe it was mentioned at some point,” he said. But according to the pool reporters, Trump clarified that he wasn’t told the meeting concerned damaging information about his then-likely presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Those subtle shifts in the President’s account are notable for several reasons: He describes the meeting as told to him by Trump Jr., and he claims he learned about it days after it was first written up in the New York Times.

That breaks sharply with what the Times has reported. In the newspaper’s telling, Trump himself signed off on a Saturday statement that his own aides crafted aboard Air Force One on the way back from the G20 summit and was included in the first article about on the meeting. After debating how forthcoming to be, Trump’s advisers ultimately released a statement that made no mention of the promised dirt on Clinton and said the meeting focused on a stalled program that allowed U.S. citizens to adopt Russian children.

The Times has also reported that Kushner personally notified Trump about the meeting “recently,” at around the same time that he added Veselnitskaya to the list of foreign contacts required to process his application for a top-level security clearance. Though two anonymous people briefed on the exchange told the Times that Kushner diminished the significance of the meeting in that conversation, his notifying the President would have had to predate the publication of the Times story that broke the news of the meeting to the public five days ago.

So what did the President know about what’s become shorthanded as the “Russian lawyer meeting” and when did he know it? For now, it’s unclear.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner amended his application for a security clearance three separate times, adding more than 100 names to his list of foreign contacts, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Kushner is currently facing heightened scrutiny for his meetings with foreign nationals after the revelation he attended a June 2016 meeting coordinated by Donald Trump Jr. with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. He omitted all of his foreign contacts on the initial security clearance application that he submitted in January, which his lawyer called an error.

Lawyers who specialize in these forms told TPM it is not unusual for people to supplement them, but said that applicants try to appear as upfront and thorough as possible because they want to avoid the appearance that they are willfully concealing information from investigators.

“You don’t want to be contacting somebody every day to be saying, ‘Oops I forgot this. Oops I forgot that,’” Eric Eisen, a veteran government security clearance attorney, told TPM.

Kushner’s lawyers apparently recently discovered emails detailing the arrangement of the Veselnitskaya meeting while preparing for his testimony before Congress, and immediately moved to amend his list of foreign contacts, according to the Times.

When and in what way Kushner described the encounter to his father-in-law is another matter of concern. Two people familiar with the exchange told the Times that he met with Trump to discuss the meeting around the time he submitted the amended form, but that he downplayed its significance, promising that it would not create headaches for the White House. It’s unclear exactly when that conversation occurred.

Trump told Reuters on Wednesday that he knew nothing about the meeting “until a couple of days ago when I heard about this.” The Times first broke the news about it on Saturday.

Donald Trump, Jr. is taking a lot of heat for the bombshell story about his meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer who promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign. But another person present at that meeting was who ultimately set in motion the events that led to its public disclosure: Trump Jr.’s brother-in-law, White House adviser Jared Kushner.

The June 2016 sit-down with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was first brought to government officials’ attention when it was listed among the foreign contacts on Kushner’s amended application for a top-level security clearance, according to the New York Times. Kushner had initially omitted all of his meetings with foreign nationals from his SF-86, the questionnaire all applicants for national security clearances must fill out.

Once word got out within the government, the Times was informed about the development by people “familiar with” Kushner’s application. The newspaper published its first report about the Veselnitskaya meeting over the weekend, and then followed up with an increasingly damaging series of articles about it. The escalating stories prompted Trump Jr. to publish the entire email exchange leading up to the meeting on Twitter on Tuesday, laying out the details of what inspired the rendezvous.

Above, the section on the SF-86 form requesting disclosures of foreign contacts.

The emails showed Trump Jr. knowingly agreed to the meeting with an individual that a publicist and family acquaintance, Rob Goldstone, described to him as a “Russian government attorney” who had information that would “incriminate” Clinton. The information on offer was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone wrote. Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort were forwarded the entire email chain detailing the purpose of the meeting, according to the Times.

It’s unclear exactly when Kushner submitted supplemental information, or whether he did so all at once. As of early April, when some of Kushner’s other previously undisclosed meetings with Russian nationals first surfaced, his team said he was still working on gathering all the necessary information. Both the CNN and Times reported that the disclosure of the meeting with Veselnitskaya occurred “recently,” immediately after Kushner’s legal team discovered the email chain while preparing for testimony before Congress.

Manafort also had mentioned the meeting to congressional investigators during a recent closed-door interview, according to the Times. Both the meeting and the emails arranging it are now part of the investigation the special counsel’s office is conducting into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, CNN reported.

Kushner’s White House spokesperson did not respond Wednesday to TPM’s request for comment. Nor did his personal attorney, Jamie Gorelick.

Kushner’s aides have previously told the Times that he holds an interim security clearance, which Sean Bigley, a federal security clearance attorney at Bigley Ranish, LLC described to TPM as a “golden ticket” that provides government employees with “the full level of access” needed for an applicant to perform his or her role.

Kushner’s failure to disclose dozens of contacts with foreigners, including the CEO of a Russian state-owned bank and the Russian ambassador to the United States, have prompted Democrats to call for his interim clearance to be reviewed or pulled entirely. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dodged questions about whether Kushner still had it.

When the Times first broke the news of Kushner’s omissions in April, Gorelick told the newspaper that they were made in error. Kushner submitted his lengthy SF-86 form prematurely on Jan. 18, Gorelick said at the time, and his office informed the FBI the next day that he would be providing additional information about his foreign contacts.

Kushner’s team apparently spent the last few months compiling that additional information and has since submitted it. Eric Eisen, a veteran government security clearance attorney, said most applicants file one additional disclosure detailing any information they may have missed as they want to appear as forthcoming and thorough as possible.

“You don’t want to be contacting somebody every day to be saying, ‘Oops I forgot this. Oops I forgot that,’” he told TPM.

Eisen and other lawyers who specialize in security clearance applications told TPM there is nothing unusual about supplying additional information, and noted that it can be subjective whether or not to include a specific interaction with a foreign national. But they said that it’s always better to err on the side of caution, and one former U.S. official pointed out that Kushner’s attendance at the Veselnitskaya meeting is exactly the kind of thing investigators would want to know about.

“The whole point is to understand whether there is something in your background that is either embarrassing or compromising in some way that means you cannot be trusted to hold state secrets,” said Derek Chollet, director of strategic planning on Obama’s National Security Council.

“Anything that you’re trying to keep secret or wouldn’t want out so [someone] could threaten you with blackmail, that’s basically what this is all about,” he continued.

What ultimately sways investigators’ decisions when considering supplemental information is whether that information was omitted accidentally or willfully concealed.

“The government usually in these cases will look at what would’ve been the outcome if we’d known that information,” Bigley told TPM. “If we’d known the information you failed to include, would that have changed the adjudicated outcome? The more serious the issue, the more they kind of view it with a skeptical eye on whether the intent was there or not.”

Kushner is sure to face questions about his omissions soon, from any number of questioners. Congressional investigators, the special counsel’s office, and, presumably, the investigator assigned to vet his final security clearance application all want to know about the exact nature and purpose of his contacts with Russian operatives.

Federal and congressional investigators are looking into whether the Trump campaign’s digital team, under the leadership of the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, coordinated with Russia to direct fake news stories to specific districts in swing states, McClatchy reported Wednesday.

Several of the people quoted by McClatchy, including the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner (D-VA), noted that swarms of social media bots flooded the same districts that Hillary Clinton’s campaign famously overlooked—and Trump’s team targeted—with damaging, false stories about Clinton.

“There appears to have been significant cooperation between Russia’s online propaganda machine and individuals in the United States who were knowledgeable about where to target the disinformation,” Mike Carpenter, who earlier this year left a Pentagon post where he worked on Russia-related issues, told McClatchy.

Carpenter did not mention any U.S. individuals by name, but a source familiar with the special counsel’s investigation told McClatchy that Kushner’s “role as a possible cut-out or conduit for Moscow’s influence operations in the elections,” including his role overseeing the digital operation, is under scrutiny.

The House and Senate Intelligence Committee’s and the special counsel’s interest in the Trump campaign’s digital operations have been previously reported, and the House panel reportedly wants former digital director Brad Parscale to testify about his work for the campaign.

Investigators in both Congress and the Justice Department are interested in Kushner for a host of reasons, including his real estate company’s finances and his previously undisclosed meetings with Russian officials and operatives. In one revealed over the weekend, he joined Donald Trump, Jr. and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort to hear from a “Russian government attorney” who claimed to have incriminating information about Clinton to offer as part of the Kremlin’s efforts to help the Trump campaign.

Donald Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer is officially part of the special counsel investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, CNN reported Tuesday.

Three U.S. officials familiar with the investigation told the network that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team only recently learned about the meeting, which Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, divulged on his recently amended application for a security clearance.

A separate U.S. official briefed on the matter told CNN that federal investigators will look into the sit-down that the President’s son agreed to have with an individual described by an acquaintance in an email as “a Russian government attorney” who had “high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton.

“I love it,” Trump Jr. replied in one of a series of bombshell of emails detailing the lead-up to that meeting, which he published in full on Twitter on Tuesday to the shock of the political world.

Both the emails and the meeting are now part of Mueller’s investigation, a source told CNN.

Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort confirmed their attendance at the Trump Tower sit-down to The New York Times, but did not answer additional questions about it.