President Donald Trump on Sunday offered his most definitive and clear public acknowledgment that his oldest son met with a Kremlin-aligned lawyer at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign to "get information on an opponent", defending the meeting as "totally legal and done all the time in politics".
"Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower", Trump wrote.
"They're talking about this blue wave", Trump said referring to way Democrats are depicted on electoral maps.
That is a far different explanation than Trump gave 13 months ago, when a statement dictated by the president but released under the name of Donald Trump Jr.,. read: "We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago".
Trump's admission that his son's 2016 Russian meeting was to get information on Clinton runs counter to the narrative he has previously pushed about the meeting. At the time, Trump and his White House had falsely claimed that he had only offered his input into the crafting of the statement.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow nevertheless attempted to rationalize the 2016 meeting as legal in an interview Sunday on ABC's This Week.
United States media then reported that the USA president had been involved in the initial statement his son issued on the meeting.More news: Podcast | All you need to know about the RBI rate hike
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Trump was responding to a Washington Post report this weekend that although he does not think his eldest son intentionally broke the law, he is anxious that Trump Jr. may have unintentionally stumbled into legal jeopardy and is embroiled in Mueller's investigation largely because of his connection to the president.
President Trump has repeatedly denied that his campaign worked with Moscow, saying "No Collusion!"
Political campaigns routinely pursue opposition research on their opponents, but not with foreign representatives from a country viewed as an adversary. Also, Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed that there was a preparation meeting that occurred between Trump's campaign team on June 7th, the same day as the speech announcement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied allegations by US intelligence agencies that his government meddled and Trump denies collusion, describing the Mueller investigation as a political witch hunt that should be shut down.
The president and others have previous claimed that the meeting was about "adoptions", which tie it into the Magnitsky Act, a bill meant to punish Russian officials over the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison. I made a mistake in my statement, I've talked about that before.
"I was in the case at that point, what, a couple of weeks?", Sekulow said today.
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But legal experts have pointed out several possible criminal charges, including conspiracy against the United States and aiding and abetting a conspiracy. "They can also cause War!" The events he is focusing on include the president's firing of FBI director James Comey and Trump's tweets, specifically the ones that have called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the investigation.