Donald Trump Jr. admits 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer offering damaging info on Clinton

The meeting took place two weeks after President Trump won the Republican nomination and also was attended by then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort .
By Ian Marsh | Jul 13, 2017
Donald Trump Jr. has admitted to attending a meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016 with a Russian lawyer with connections to Moscow who said she had potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

The meeting took place two weeks after President Trump won the Republican nomination and also was attended by then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to The New York Times. Several White House advisors with knowledge of the meeting revealed its content and motivation, the Times said.

When existence of the meeting was initially reported over the weekend, Donald Trump Jr. said it was about adoptions. Then, on Sunday, he changed his account after details of the meeting came out.

"After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton," Trump said, in a 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."

The president's son said the conversation with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, then turned to American adoptions of Russian children, which Russian President Vladimir Putin had stopped after passage of the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law that blacklists Russians believed to be abusers of human rights.

"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," Trump said.

A spokesman for Mark Corallo, the president's attorney, denied that President Trump knew of or attended the meeting.

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