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New York Times: Trump Jr. was told in email of Russian government effort to aid campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report says the man who set up a meeting for a Russian lawyer to give Donald Trump Jr. potentially damaging material about Hillary Clinton indicated in an email to Trump Jr. that the Russian government was the source of the information.

The New York Times report Monday cited three unnamed people "with knowledge of the email" from British music publicist Rob Goldstone.

Goldstone spoke to The Associated Press earlier Monday to confirm he set up the meeting on behalf of his client, a Russian singer. Goldstone said the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, stated she had information about purported illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee that she thought Trump Jr. might find helpful.

According to The New York Times, Goldstone’s message, as described by the three people, indicates that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information. It does not elaborate on the wider effort by Moscow to help the Trump campaign.

"There is no evidence to suggest that the promised damaging information was related to Russian government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails," the Times wrote.

Trump Jr. has acknowledged taking the meeting to learn damaging information about Clinton. But this would be the first public word he had been made aware the material could have been emanating from the Kremlin itself.