10, July 2017
US President Donald Trump’s son met with a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, a report reveals. Donald Trump Jr., had been promised damaging information about his father’s opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, ahead of meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, The New York Times reported on Sunday, citing US officials.
In a declassified report released in January, the intelligence community concluded that Russia helped with the New York billionaire’s campaign effort ahead of winning the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Moscow and Trump.
According to the Times, the meeting represents “the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.” Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also took part in a meeting with the Russian lawyer. In a statement sent to the newspaper, Trump Jr. denied that he had received any information about the former secretary of state, asserting that the meeting had been held at the request of an acquaintance.
“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,” Trump Jr. said in his statement. “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.”
He added that claims of helpful information by the lawyer were just an excuse to get him to attend the meeting over American adoptions of Russian children. “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,” he said.