As we learn more details about the June 9, 2016, meeting involving Donald Trump’s son, son-in-law, campaign chairman and a Russian lawyer, it’s worth revisiting how Donald Trump Jr.’s depiction of what happened at that meeting has evolved.

Saturday, July 8

The New York Times reports that Trump Jr. met with a Russian attorney with apparent ties to the Kremlin. Also in the meeting were Paul Manafort (the campaign chairman) and Jared Kushner (President Trump’s son-in-law).

Trump Jr.’s comment:

“It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up. I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

All of this was apparently true — it just left out a lot, as we later learned.

Let’s demonstrate by using an example that’s probably familiar to most readers: the movie “Ocean’s Eleven.” Here is how the lead character in that movie might describe its central heist at a similar level of detail:

The Danny Ocean equivalent:

“I made a brief stop at a casino on the Las Vegas Strip. I was detained by security and, later, asked to leave. I did so.”

Sunday, July 9

The Times reports that the meeting was predicated not on adoption but on the promise of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr.’s comment:

“I was asked to have a meeting by an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign. I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to attend, but told them nothing of the substance. We had a meeting in June 2016.”
“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information. She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act. It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.
“I interrupted and advised her that my father was not an elected official, but rather a private citizen, and that her comments and concerns were better addressed if and when he held public office. The meeting lasted approximately 20 to 30 minutes. As it ended, my acquaintance apologized for taking up our time. That was the end of it and there was no further contact or follow-up of any kind. My father knew nothing of the meeting or these events.”

What’s new in this statement: Trump Jr. admits that the focus of the meeting was not adoption, but information about Clinton. Instead of being an introductory meeting, he now says it was a one-off.

The Danny Ocean equivalent:

“I did see my friend Rusty Ryan while I was in Las Vegas, as well as some other old acquaintances of mine. They were at the casino at the same time that I was and, I believe, misrepresented their identities to casino employees. But I left the casino with no more money than when I entered.”

Monday, July 10

The Times reports that emails exist in which Trump Jr. is told that the intelligence is part of a Russian effort to help his father. Those emails are from Rob Goldstone, publicist for a Russian musician named Emin Agalarov, with whom Trump has worked on the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

Trump Jr.’s comment, through his attorney:

“In my view, this is much ado about nothing. Late May and early June 2016, near the end of the 2016 Republican primaries, was an intensely busy time for Don, Jr. During this busy period, Robert Goldstone contacted Don Jr. in an email and suggested that people had information concerning alleged wrongdoing by Democratic Party front runner Hillary Clinton in her dealings with Russia. Don Jr.’s takeaway from this communication was that someone had information potentially helpful to the campaign and it was coming from someone he knew. Don Jr. had no knowledge as to what specific information, if any, would be discussed. Further, at no time was there ever any understanding or commitment that he, or anyone else, would find the information, whatever it turned out to be, to be reliable, credible or of interest, or would even survive due diligence. The meeting lasted 20-30 minutes, and nothing came of it. His father knew nothing about it. The bottom line is that Don Jr. did nothing wrong. I have been representing people in investigatory matters for almost 30 years, and I see nothing here. Don Jr. has not received any request from any committee or office. If we do, we will work with any committee or office to convey what he knows.”

What’s new in this statement: The emails are confirmed. The lawyer now says that Goldstone was not the person with the information. The president is distanced from it.

Danny Ocean’s attorney:

“There’s no fire here. Mr. Ocean’s time in Las Vegas was brief and largely uneventful. His ex-wife knew nothing about it.”

Tuesday, July 11

Trump Jr. releases copies of the email to preempt a Times story. Trump’s response to the Russian offer: “If it’s what you say I love it.”

The emails also hint at a possible phone call between Trump Jr. and Agalarov. In the emails, Goldstone also says that two people to be named would be attending the meeting.

Trump Jr.’s comment:

“To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails with Rob Goldstone about the meeting on June 9, 2016. The first email on June 3, 2016 was from Rob, who was relating a request from Emin, a person I knew from the 2013 Ms. Universe Pageant near Moscow. Emin and his father have a very highly respected company in Moscow. The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research. I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting. The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official. And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act. To put this in context, this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue. As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was ‘the most inane nonsense l ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it.’”

What’s new in this statement: Trump Jr. says he wanted to have a phone call, but didn’t. The emails provide a number of new details.

The Danny Ocean equivalent:

“Just to lay it all out there: Along with a small group of known criminals, I did help build a replica of the vault at the Bellagio. This model was used to film a few brief videos and for The Amazing Yen to practice some acrobatic techniques. And, yes, I knew Bruiser, the bouncer at the Bellagio, but there was nothing fake about when he punched me in the eye.”

Tuesday evening

Trump Jr. appears on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. Hannity allows him to present his case without much objection.

Trump Jr.’s comment:

“Someone sent me an email! I can’t help what someone sends me. I read it. I responded accordingly, and I think if there was something interesting there, I think it’s pretty common. … I actually didn’t know anything about it. An acquaintance sent me this email. As a courtesy to him I said, okay, let’s meet. But I didn’t know who I was meeting beforehand. … As I recall, it was all basically this email coordination [and not a phone call]. Let’s try to set up a meeting and see what happens. … I was basically sitting there listening as a courtesy to my acquaintance who had set up the meeting and, in his own words, you can hear what he said about it. He apologized to me walking out of the meeting basically for wasting my time. … I’ve probably met with other people from Russia. Not in the context of a formalized meeting or anything like that. Because: Why would I? In the grand scheme of things, how busy we were? … This is everything. This is everything.”

What’s new in this statement: Trump says he doesn’t remember if it was only an email conversation. He says he never met with other people from Russia. He says there’s nothing more to reveal.

The Danny Ocean equivalent:

“If the power goes out in a city, how is that my fault? Did I meet other known criminals in Las Vegas? Why would I? That’s all I know about the subject.”

Friday, July 14

NBC News reports that there was another person in the meeting with Trump Jr., Manafort, Kushner, Goldstone and the Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya. That person was Rinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist and possible intelligence agent in the former Soviet Union.

Trump Jr.’s attorney:

The other person in the room “was a U.S. citizen. He told me specifically he was not working for the Russian government, and in fact laughed when I asked him that question.”

What’s new in this statement: Trump Jr. did meet with another person linked to Russia.

Danny Ocean’s attorney:

“Mr. Ocean and nine friends did indeed plan an interesting night out in Las Vegas.”

Friday, later in the day

The attorney then called NBC News with an update: There was a third person not from the Trump campaign in the room as well; that’s the person referred to above. It’s likely that this was either Goldstone (who told the AP he was there) or a translator.

Danny Ocean’s attorney:

“Sorry. There were eleven of them.”