United States President Donald Trump admitted on Sunday that his son, Donald Trump Jr, met a Russian attorney at Trump Tower in 2016 in order to get information on rival Hillary Clinton. Trump claimed that the meeting was “totally legal and done all the time in politics”, adding that he had no knowledge about it at the time.
Trump had earlier claimed that the meeting was about the adoption of Russian children, reported Reuters, a statement contradicted by Trump Jr, who said that the purpose was to gather information on Clinton. At that time, Russian officials were under US sanctions.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Russia to influence the presidential race in his favour. A major part of the inquiry has focused on a meeting in New York’s Trump Tower in June 2016 between Trump Jr, his brother-in-law Jared Kushner, other campaign aides, and a group of Russians. An email put out earlier by Trump Jr said that he was interested in the meeting as his father’s campaign was being offered potentially damaging information on Clinton.
Trump Jr said he later realised that the meeting was mainly aimed at lobbying against the 2012 Magnitsky sanctions law, by which Moscow denied Americans the right to adopt Russian orphans. Trump has continually denied that his campaign worked with Russia, and claimed there was no collusion. However, last week, he said that “collusion is not a crime”.