Published: Mon, August 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Trump admits son met with Russian to get info on opponent

Trump admits son met with Russian to get info on opponent

CNN reported last month that Michael Cohen, the president's longtime personal lawyer and self-described "fixer" was willing to tell Mueller that Trump did know about the meeting in advance.

Trump's lawyers have since acknowledged in a letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller that the president "dictated a short but accurate response" to initial reports of the meeting, appearing to contradict the White House's previous claims that the president had nothing to do with the June 8, 2017, explanation for the meeting. Trump wrote. "They are very risky & sick!"

Email released by Donald Jr. himself showed he had been keen on the meeting because his father's campaign was being offered potentially damaging information on Clinton.

Trump has said similar things about the June 2016 meeting.

"The question is what law, statute or rule or regulation has been violated, and nobody has pointed to one", said Jay Sekulow, one of Trump's attorneys, on ABC's "This Week". Far from something that is "done all the time", Trump's admission would make him the first US presidential candidate in history to admit accepting campaign aid from the Russian government.

When the meeting first became public knowledge past year, Trump personally dictated a statement for public release claiming that the meeting was called to discuss resuming adoptions of orphaned Russian babies by United States citizens.

Sekulow ― whose career has made him an expert on school voucher and religious freedom cases, not criminal law - claimed that meeting with Russians tied to their country's government with the goal of getting assistance to win a USA election was not illegal.

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The Trump Tower meeting also included Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, who is on trial over tax and bank fraud charges after being indicted by Mueller.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied allegations by USA intelligence agencies that his government meddled and Trump denies collusion, describing the Mueller investigation as a political witch hunt that should be shut down.

President Donald Trump singles out the media during his rally on August 2, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pa. I made a mistake in my statement, I've talked about that before.

'I don't represent Don Jr., but I will tell you I have no knowledge at all of Don Jr. being told that he's a target of any investigation, and I have no knowledge of him being interviewed by the special counsel, ' he said. "I believe it's in the best interest of the president and of the United States of America and the American people for that investigation to run the course, for all the truth to come out".

The Republican president had previously said the meeting was about the adoption of Russian children by Americans.

Sekulow also noted on Sunday that he himself had given a misleading statement a year ago when, on "This Week" and in other media appearances, he said Trump had nothing to do with the misleading statement given to the New York Times.

"It doesn't mean illegality, it doesn't mean criminality", he said. At that point, he said, Trump's attorneys would raise what Trump has alleged are Mueller's "conflicts of interest". Mueller was appointed to take over the probe after the firing.

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