WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to meet with a Kremlin-linked lawyer during the 2016 campaign after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton, the New York Times reported on Sunday, citing three advisers to the White House.
Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also attended the meeting, the Times reported.
The Times quoted a statement from Donald Trump Jr. in which he 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 Times quoted Donald Trump Jr. as saying. 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.”
Allegations of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia have cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s first five months in office, distracting from attempts by his fellow Republicans in Congress to overhaul the U.S. health care and tax systems.
The Kremlin has denied U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Moscow tried to tilt the election in Trump’s favor, using such means as hacking into the emails of senior Democrats. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.