WORLD Trump ju­nior’s Rus­sian li­ai­son

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s son, Don­ald Trump Jr, agreed to meet with a Krem­lin- linked lawyer dur­ing the 2016 elec­tion cam­paign af­ter be­ing promised dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about Hil­lary Clin­ton, the New York Times has re­ported, cit­ing three ad­vis­ers to the White House.

Mr Trump’s then- cam­paign chair­man, Paul Manafort, and his son- in- law, Jared Kush­ner, also at­tended the meet­ing at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks af­ter Mr Trump won the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion, the Times re­ported.

In a state­ment quoted by the Times, Don­ald Trump Jr ac­knowl­edged meet­ing with Rus­sian lawyer Natalia Ve­sel­nit­skaya.

“Af­ter pleas­antries were ex­changed, the woman stated that she had in­for­ma­tion that in­di­vid­u­als con­nected to Rus­sia were fund­ing the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee and sup­port­ing Ms Clin­ton,” the state­ment said. Ms Clin­ton was the 2016 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee.

“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.”

Mr Trump Jr said Ms Ve­sel- nit­skaya then turned the con­ver­sa­tion to the adop­tion of Rus­sian chil­dren and a US law black­list­ing Rus­sians linked to al­leged hu­man rights abuses.

Mr Trump was “not aware of and did not at­tend” the meet­ing, Mark Co­rallo, a spokesman for Mr Trump’s le­gal team, said in an emailed state­ment.

Mr Trump Jr said he was asked to at­tend the meet­ing “with an in­di­vid­ual who I was told might have in­for­ma­tion help­ful to the cam­paign” at the re­quest of an ac­quain­tance he knew from the 2013 Miss Uni­verse pageant.

“I asked Jared and Paul to at­tend, but told them noth­ing of the sub­stance,” he said.

“The meet­ing lasted ap­prox­i­mately 20 to 30 min­utes,” he said. “As it ended, my ac­quain­tance apol­o­gised for tak­ing up our time. That was the end of it and there was no fur­ther con­tact or fol­low- up of any kind. My fa­ther knew noth­ing of the meet­ing or these events.”

The New York Times re­port said Mr Trump Jr was promised dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about Ms Clin­ton be­fore agree­ing to meet with the lawyer.

It cited three ad­vis­ers to the White House briefed on the meet­ing and two oth­ers with knowl­edge of it.

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