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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Trump’s son 'met Russian lawyer for Clinton dirt'

It is thought to be the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and a member of the US President's inner circle.

Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer (REUTERS/Stephanie Keith)
Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer (REUTERS/Stephanie Keith)

AMERICA// US President Donald Trump's son agreed to meet a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton, the New York Times reports.

Donald Trump Jr said he met Natalia Veselnitskaya but that "no meaningful information" on Democratic candidate Mrs Clinton was shared.

It is thought to be the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and a member of US President Donald Trump's inner circle.

The president's son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign head Paul J Manafort were also present at the meeting. They met with Ms Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016 at New York's Trump Tower - two weeks after Mr Trump won the Republican nomination.

US officials are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election. The inquiries have yet to show evidence of collusion.

When the meeting was first reported by The New York Times on Saturday, Mr Trump Jr and Ms Veselnitskaya confirmed the meeting but said the US presidential campaign was not discussed.

The New York Times cited three White House advisers briefed on the meeting, and two others with knowledge for it, as its sources.

When he was first asked about the meeting on Saturday, Donald Trump Jr. said that it was primarily about adoptions and mentioned nothing about Mrs. Clinton.

Later, in a statement, he said he had met with the Russian lawyer at the request of an acquaintance from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, which his father took to Moscow. “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 Mrs. 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.”