Trump's son informed about Russia's attempts to help father's campaign
President Trump's son admitted to meeting Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last year after she claimed she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The New York Times reported that Donald Trump Jr. was informed by an aide that the information was part of the Russian government's attempt at aiding his father's campaign. The Trump campaign is being investigated for allegedly colluding with the Russian government.
On May 18, the US Department of Justice named former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russia's alleged ties with Donald Trump's campaign. There were mounting calls for a special prosecutor after Trump fired the most recent FBI director James Comey, the previous week. Mueller's appointment was praised by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
US President Donald Trump's son has agreed to meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer last year, after being promised damaging information about Trump's rival Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump Jr. said "no meaningful information" on Clinton was shared, the New York Times reported. The president's son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended the meeting. The revelation comes amid an investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling.
The meeting took place on June 9, 2016, at the Trump Tower, New York, two weeks before Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination. Both Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya confirmed to the New York Times that the US presidential campaign wasn't discussed at their meeting. This is believed to be the first confirmed private meeting between members of Trump's inner circle and a Russian national.
Kushner's lawyer said he had disclosed the meeting previously on security clearance forms. Trump's legal team said the president was "not aware of and did not attend" the meeting between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya in 2016.
Trump Jr. said during the meeting, Veselnitskaya said she had "information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs Clinton." "Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense," he added. He said it became clear that Veselnitskaya's claims of damaging information on Clinton was a pretext to setup a meeting with the Trump campaign.
Veselnitskaya said she didn't discuss any issues related to the presidential election campaign. "I have never acted on behalf of the Russian government and have never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government," she added.