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Trump Jr met Russian for dirt on Hillary

1499641005548US President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others. The meeting was also attended by his campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Manafort and Kushner recently disclosed the meeting, though not its content, in confidential government documents described to NYT. NYT reported the existence of the meeting. But in subsequent interviews, the advisers and others revealed the motivation behind it. The accounts of the meeting -at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks after Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination -represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help. The episode at Trump Tower is the first such confirmed private meeting involving his inner circle during the campaign -as well as the first one known to have included his eldest son. It came at an inflection point in the campaign, when Trump Jr, who served as an adviser and a surrogate, was ascendant and Manafort was consolidating power. It is unclear whether the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually produced the promised compromising information about Clinton. But the people interviewed said the expectation was that she would do so. Veselnitskaya was former ly married to a former deputy transportation minister of the Moscow region, and her clients include state-owned businesses and a senior government official’s son, whose company was under investigation in the United States at the time of the meeting. Her activities and associations had previously drawn the attention of the FBI, according to a former senior law enforcement official. When first asked about the meeting, Trump Jr said that it was primarily about adoptions and mentioned nothing about Hillary .A day later, he acknowledged he was told beforehand that Veselnitskaya, might have information “helpful” to the Trump campaign, and was told by her during the meeting that she had information about Clinton. ” After pleasantries were exchanged,” he said, “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered,” he said in a statement. He added she then turned the conversation to adoption of Russian children. attempting to brush off the significance the meeting, he tweeted sarcastically, “Obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent … went nowhere but had to listen.” Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer, said “the president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.” Trump Jr stated he asked Manafort and Kushner to attend, but did not tell them what the meeting was about. Veselnitskaya said that “nothing at all about the presidential campaign” was discussed. She recalled that after about 10 minutes, either Kushner or Manafort left the room. She said she had “never acted on behalf of the Russian government” and “never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government.” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin doesn’t know Veselnitskaya.

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