Donald Trump’s son has admitted to meeting a Russian lawyer last year ahead of the presidential elections, after he was promised damaging information about Trump’s rival candidate Hillary Clinton, The New York Times reported.
Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign head Paul J Manafort reportedly had met Natalia Veselnitskaya, however, no “meaningful information” was revealed, Trump’s son said in a statement. The meeting was held at Times Tower on June 9, 2016.
After the story broke on Saturday, Donald Trump Jr, in a statement, had said that the meeting was a “short and introductory” one. “We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up,” he had said.
However, on Sunday, Donald Trump Jr offered a new statement. He said Veselnitskaya’s statements on Clinton were “vague, ambiguous and made no sense”. “I quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information,” he said, adding that she then started talking about adoption 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.
Donald Trump’s spokesperson in a statement said that the president was not aware of the meeting and had also not attended it, Reuters reported.
The Russia investigation
Trump is being investigated for his alleged role in Russian meddling in the US election in November 2016. He has dismissed claims that his campaign associates had colluded with Moscow. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegation of orchestrating cyber attacks during the polls.
In May, it was reported that Kushner was under Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny as part of the Russia investigation. Earlier, former FBI Director James Comey had stated before the US Senate Intelligence Committee that he was certain he was fired because of the president’s concerns about the Russia investigation.
On July 8, a day after the meeting between US President Donald Trump and his counterpart Vladimir Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said that the US president had “accepted Putin’s clear statements” about Kremlin’s non-interference with the elections.