Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of President Donald Trump, met with a lawyer associated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election, the New York Times reports. Trump Jr. met with the Kremlin-connected individual after she promised to provide him with information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.
When asked about the meeting, Trump Jr. said:
“The woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. 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 Times reports that the meeting took place two weeks after President Trump secured the GOP nomination, that the Russian lawyer was Natalia Veselnitskaya, and that in addition to Trump Jr., the meeting was attended by Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager at the time, and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law.
It is also reported that the meeting took place inside Trump Tower.
The revelation about Trump Jr.'s meeting with Veselnitskaya comes as multiple investigations have been launched into the allegations that the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 election.
For his part, President Trump has been skeptical that it was in fact the Russians alone that meddled in the 2016 election.
The new report also comes on the heels of the G-20 Summit, where Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Trump administration claims that the president pressed Putin on the issue of election meddling and said that Putin denied the charge.
The president's lawyer, Mark Corallo, told the Times about the original meeting: “The president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”
The Associated Press reports that the Kremlin has denied knowledge of the meeting as well.
The AP tweeted, “BREAKING: The Kremlin says it is unaware of a meeting between Donald Trump's staff and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign.”