Donald Trump Jr. made several private phone calls in advance of the infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer, which many Democrats have long assumed were to his father, then-candidate Donald Trump.
CNN reported Thursday that the calls were not to Trump, but rather to two unnamed business associates, according to "three sources with knowledge of the matter."
The calls, which were between Trump Jr. and two blocked numbers that don't show up in phone records, had previously been cited as potential evidence that President Trump knew that Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort were meeting with a Russian lawyer in an attempt to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Records provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee show the calls were between Trump Jr. and two of his business associates, the sources said, and appear to contradict Democrats' long-held suspicions that the blocked number was from then-candidate Donald Trump.
Later in the report:
The documents showing the calls were not with then-candidate Trump could resolve a key line of inquiry that House Democrats have said they want to get to the bottom of this year now that they are the majority party and have control of investigations.
President Trump has long maintained that he did not know about the Trump Tower meeting in advance, and he told special counsel Robert Mueller as much when he submitted his written answers to Mueller's inquiries.
The meeting in question was between Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort and a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya. It was faciliated by Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star who is the son of a Russian oligarch.
They met on June 9, 2016, and Veselnitskaya reportedly focused her presentation on Russian sanctions rather than Hillary Clinton.