Two much-discussed phone calls Donald Trump Jr. made prior to the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting were not to his father, CNN reported Thursday.
Three sources “with knowledge of the matter” told CNN that records provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee establish that the calls to blocked numbers were actually between Trump Jr. and two unnamed business associates.
If confirmed, this development punctures a balloon long floated by Democratic lawmakers, who have suggested that Trump Jr. may have contacted his father to discuss the upcoming meeting with Russians promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Trump is known to have used a blocked number as a presidential candidate, according to House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.
The intrigue first emerged after Trump Jr. provided Congress with phone records that show he made two phone calls to a blocked number on June 6, 2016, three days before the Trump Tower meeting. One call came between two phone conversations with Emin Agalarov, the Russian pop star who helped arrange the Trump Tower summit, which fueled Democrats’ theory. The second call to a blocked number came a few hours later, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s documentation.
CNN was not able to confirm the identity of the business associates Trump was reportedly speaking with, nor the content of the conversations.
Trump Jr. has insisted he did not speak with his father about the Trump Tower meeting, either before or after it happened.