FEATURED:

Former intelligence chief Clapper: Trump Jr. meeting was 'classic, textbook Soviet and now Russian statecraft'

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Thursday that the Russians who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 to discuss information they said came from the Russian government employed "classic, textbook Soviet and now Russian tradecraft." 

Clapper, who served as the director of national intelligence in the Obama administration, said in an interview on MSNBC's "Hardball" that the Russians had a "soft approach" in meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE's eldest son.

ADVERTISEMENT

"They had two objectives here," he told Matthews. "One was to determine whether those close to then-candidate Trump would be interested in talking with them and receiving dirt on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublicans bail on Coffman to invest in Miami seat Katy Perry praises Taylor Swift for diving into politics Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE."

"And point two was plausible deniability," Clapper added. 

The meeting between Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner, then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer came after Trump Jr. was told in an email that the meeting would include information from the Russian government meant to support his father's presidential campaign.