(FILES) This file photo taken on November 7, 2016 shows Donald Trump, Jr., (L) as he places a hand on the shoulder of his father, former Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, during in a rally on the final night of the 2016 US presidential election at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. Donald Trump's eldest son on July 10, 2017 admitted meeting a Russian lawyer to get dirt on his father's 2016 rival Hillary Clinton, thrusting the White House deep into another Russia-related scandal. Trump junior confirmed reports that he was on the trail of damaging information on the Democrat vying to become America's first woman president, when he met Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — It’s not an anti-Trump conspiracy and it’s not fake news. It’s a basic fact no longer in dispute: Donald Trump’s campaign tried getting help from Vladimir Putin’s government to win an American election, as revealed in emails released Tuesday in a watershed moment following a year-long controversy over suspected Russian election-meddling.
Emails released by the president’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., show that he was invited last year to meet a woman described as a Russian government lawyer, and was told this woman had dirt collected by the Russian government, in an attempt by them to smear Hillary Clinton and influence the U.S. election.
The president’s eldest son responded to the invitation by setting up a meeting at Trump Tower, inviting his brother-in-law and current White House staffer Jared Kushner and bringing along Kremlin-linked campaign manager Paul Manafort.
“We have some time (to meet),” Trump replied to his friend.
“If it’s what …