Donald Trump‘s eldest son, son-in-law and then-campaign chairman met with a Russian lawyer shortly after Trump won the Republican nomination, in what appears to be the earliest known private meeting between key aides to the president and a Russian.
Representatives of Donald Trump Jr. And Jared Kushner confirmed the June 2016 meeting to The Associated Press after The New York Times reported yesterday on the gathering of the men and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower.
Then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended, according to the statement from Donald Trump Jr.
He described it as a “short introductory meeting” during which the three discussed a disbanded program that used to allow US citizens to adopt Russian children. Russia ended the adoptions in response to American sanctions brought against the nation following the 2009 death of an imprisoned lawyer who spoke about a corruption scandal.
Trump Jr. Said he invited the other two Americans, was asked to attend by an acquaintance not named in the statement, and was not told beforehand with whom he would meet.
“It was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow up,” he said.
Kushner lawyer Jamie Gorelick said her client already disclosed the meeting in a revised filing of a form that requires him to list meetings with foreign agents.
“Mr. Kushner has submitted additional updates and included, out of an abundance of caution, this meeting with a Russian person, which he briefly attended at the request of his brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr. As Mr. Kushner has consistently stated, he is eager to cooperate and share what he knows,” she said.