CNN's Tapper: Emails released by Trump Jr. are “evidence of willingness to commit collusion.”

Tapper: “This can't be dismissed as people out to get Donald J. Trump Jr., or fake news.”

From CNN's July 11 breaking news coverage:

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JAKE TAPPER: If you would've asked me a week ago, “Do you think that we're going to have an example of an email sent by a confidant of the Trumps who has contacts with people who were supposedly close with the Kremlin, saying, 'The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with [this other intermediary, Aras,] and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary in her dealings with Russia and be very useful to your father.'” I mean, I would have said you were crazy. That nobody would put something like that in print. And certainly nobody associated with this campaign would then respond, “I love it.”

KATE BOLDUAN (HOST): And crazy to think, then, that Don Jr. would be forced to release it. The chain of events that's happened in the past hour have been truly, I think, amazing.

TAPPER: It's incredible. It does get at what I think every White House contends is unfair leaking by investigators in the intelligence establishment. Although, we should point out the initial source of that New York Times scoop over the weekend were people with close contacts with the White House. So it is interesting where this information is coming from, and I'm sure conservatives and the Trump White House and others will be very focused on who is leaking this information, but that's always what people who are caught in something they don't want to talk about focus on is where did the leak come from? This leak -- this particular leak came, at least where I printed it out from, was Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter account and these emails are staggering. Again, this unquestionably depicts somebody saying the Russian government wants to help the Trump campaign with documents damaging to Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump Jr. saying, “I love it,” and setting up a meeting to do so.

BOLDUAN: And taking the meeting. Taking the meeting. 

TAPPER: Taking the meeting. Now, what took place at that meeting, that's a whole other question and we have different versions of events. Shifting versions in some cases. We still haven't heard from Paul Manafort, who was at the meeting. We still haven't heard from Jared Kushner, who was at the meeting. We heard from the Russian attorney in question, who's depicting this all as the Trump people wanted damaging information on Hillary.


TAPPER: But she didn't want to talk about that. Again, grain of salt when it comes to, to her story as well as anybody else's who hasn't been upfront about this, but it's a staggering turn of events, and it's rather momentous. This can't just be -- this can't be dismissed as people out to get Donald J. Trump Jr. or fake news. This is evidence of willingness to commit collusion. That's what this is. On its face. Now, maybe there's an explanation for it, and if that's true, we can talk about that, but --

BOLDUAN: And we'll report it.

TAPPER: We'll report it. But somebody saying, “The Russian government wants to help your dad with damaging information on Hillary Clinton” and Donald Trump Jr. saying, “I love it,” and then taking the meeting. That is a willingness to work with the Russian government to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton, and as has been pointed out by several campaign veterans, Republican campaign veterans, that is not normal. And no matter how much people say, “Oh, you always meet with people to get opposition research,” you don't meet with antagonists of the United States. You don't meet with adversaries of the United States. You wouldn't meet with a mullah from Iran, you wouldn't meet with somebody associated with China for damaging information on the other candidate.


This is the reporting piecing together Trump and Russia