Donald Trump Says Don Jr. Colluded With Russia To Get Dirt On Hillary Clinton In 2016 Trump Tower Meeting
On Sunday, President Donald Trump admitted that his eldest son Donald Jr. attempted to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer during an infamous meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016.
Don Jr. was one of several Trump associates who met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, an attorney with connections to the Kremlin, at Trump Tower just months before the 2016 election. The president’s oldest son has already testified before lawmakers about the encounter, whose full transcripts have since been released.
In a tweet on Sunday, the president appeared to directly contradict a July 2017 statement Trump’s team made about the Trump Tower meeting that said the purpose of the encounter was to discuss the possibility of Americans adopting Russian orphans. Trump also claimed to be completely unaware of the meeting.
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
“This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics — and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
This comes amid Trump continually urging top members of his administration, like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to stop special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion between Kremlin officials and Trump associates. Trump and his legal team have repeatedly denied collusion of any kind, and the president continues to call the probe a “witch hunt,” despite the multiple indictments it has produced. Mueller has now launched an inquiry into Trump’s tweets for possible obstruction of justice.
The president’s tweet about his son’s actions at the 2016 Trump Tower meeting also comes at an interesting time because Mueller recently announced that he is seeking an interview with Russian pop singer Emin Agalarov, who allegedly helped set up the encounter between Trump associates and the Russians. Agalarov reportedly contacted British publicist Rob Goldstone to assist in arranging the meeting, which Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort also attended.
Republican lawmakers with close ties to the White House claim Trump is more concerned about the outcome of November’s midterm elections than he is with the affair involving his son and the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. The president has held several rallies across the country in recent weeks to support GOP candidates contending for a seat this year.
On Sunday, Jay Sekulow — a member of Trump’s legal team — admitted in an interview on ABC that he made an error in 2017 by stating the president played no part in writing the initial confusing statement about the main purpose of the Trump Tower meeting. It was later reported that the president did in fact have a hand in that statement.
“I had bad information at that time,” Sekulow stated on ABC’s This Week. “I’ve talked about that before. That happens when you have cases like this.”