Both Maine senators called for Donald Trump Jr. to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee concerning a string of emails he released Tuesday in which he agreed to meet during the presidential campaign with a Russian lawyer whom he was told could provide information damaging to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

According to the emails, Trump Jr. agreed to meet with a “Russian government lawyer,” and the information was offered as part of “Russia and its government’s support” for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump Jr. was joined at the June 9, 2016, meeting by Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and now a senior White House adviser.

Independent Sen. Angus King, who with Republican Sen. Susan Collins sits on the intelligence committee investigating possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, said in an interview with CNN Tuesday night that Trump Jr. and the others should not have attending the meeting and that at least Manafort, a seasoned campaign worker, should have known better.

“The proper response would have been to call the FBI,” King said.

King said he is even more disturbed by the White House’s denial for a year that members of the campaign met with Russian officials and the administration’s contention that investigations into Russian ties with the campaign amounted to a “witch hunt.”

King said that for the Trump administration to deny knowledge of a meeting between Trump’s eldest son and the Russians is “absurd.”

Collins issued a statement Tuesday evening, saying the intelligence committee needs to interview Trump Jr. and others.

“I believe that the Intelligence Committee needs to interview, not only Donald Trump Jr., but everyone who was at the meeting. We also need to make a request for any other relevant documents and emails to be produced,” Collins said.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, 1st District, said in a tweet Tuesday that the email revelations were “deeply, deeply troubling.”

“Donald Trump Jr. has shown that he knowingly worked with Russia to help install his father as President,” she tweeted Tuesday morning.

In a follow-up tweet, Pingree said, “In light of Donald Jr.’s admission of working with Russia, lawyers are researching definition of treason while @Merriam Webster says …”

Pingree’s tweet goes on to cite the dictionary’s definition of treason. A spokeswoman for Pingree said the congresswoman would not be releasing any additional statements Tuesday.

U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, issued a one-sentence statement Tuesday concerning the Trump Jr. emails.

“There remain three separate investigations on this matter – one in the House, one in the Senate, and one by a specially appointed counsel – and Congressman Poliquin will thoroughly review any findings and conclusions,” Poliquin’s spokesman, Brendan Conley, said.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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