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Trump's son met Russian lawyer after promise of info on Clinton: NY Times
[WASHINGTON] President Donald Trump's son Donald Trump Jr agreed to meet with a Kremlin-linked lawyer during the 2016 campaign after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton, the New York Times reported on Sunday, citing three advisers to the White House.
Mr Trump's then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also attended the meeting at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks after Mr Trump won the Republican nomination, the Times reported.
The Times quoted a statement from Donald Trump Jr in which he acknowledged meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
"After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms Clinton," the Times quoted Donald Trump Jr as saying.
Mrs Clinton was the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
"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."
The Times said Ms Veselnitskaya then turned the conversation to the adoption of Russian children and a US law blackisting Russians linked to alleged human-rights abuses.
President Trump was "not aware of and did not attend" the meeting reported by the Times, Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Mr Trump's legal team, said in an emailed statement.
Trump Jr was quoted saying he believed information on Mrs Clinton was only a pretext for the meeting. The Times said it was unclear whether Ms Veselnitskaya produced the promised compromising information about Mrs Clinton.
Trump Jr told the Times he did not tell Mr Manafort and Mr Kushner what the meeting was about when he asked them to attend.
Representatives for Mr Manafort and Mr Kushner did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.
Allegations of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia have cast a shadow over Donald Trump's first five months in office, distracting from attempts by his fellow Republicans in Congress to overhaul the US healthcare and tax systems.
The Kremlin has denied US intelligence agencies' conclusion that Moscow tried to tilt the election in Mr Trump's favour, using such means as hacking into the emails of senior Democrats.
Mr Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.
The allegations came up during Mr Trump's meeting on Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin but the two agreed to focus on better ties rather than litigating the past.
Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Mr Trump accepted Mr Putin's assertions the allegations of Russian meddling were false.
Mr Trump said on Sunday he and Mr Putin had discussed forming a cyber security unit, an idea harshly criticised by Republicans who said Moscow could not be trusted after its alleged meddling in the 2016 US election.