'My son is a high-quality person': Donald Trump hails son for 'transparency' over Russia meeting
Donald Trump today defended his eldest son Don Jr -- who is under fire for his meeting with a Russian lawyer during last year's US presidential campaign - and hailed his "transparency" for releasing emails about the talks.
"My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency," Trump said in a statement to reporters read by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
President Trump's eldest son on Tuesday released the email chain relating to his meeting with a Russian attorney who allegedly promised to provide incriminating information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In one email, publicist Rob Goldstone, who set up the meeting, tells Trump Jr. that the Russian lawyer would provide "some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father," Efe news reports.
"This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Trump," Goldstone said in the email.
"Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer," Trump Jr. replied on June 3, 2016.
Other emails provide details about the meeting with an individual identified as "the Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow."
Trump Jr. indicated that he would probably attend the meeting with the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Kushner, senior White House adviser, and Manafort are being targeted by investigators looking for evidence of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
The Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, said in an exclusive interview with NBC News before the emails' release that she had no links to the Kremlin and provided no incriminating information about Clinton.
"I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that," Veselnitskaya said.
The lawyer, however, said it was possible that Trump Jr. thought she might have such information.
"It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such an information. They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted," Veselnitskaya said.
The lawyer, who said she did not work for the Russian government, told NBC that Trump Jr. asked if she "had any financial records which might prove that the funds used to sponsor the D.N.C. (Democratic National Committee) were coming from inappropriate sources."
Veselnitskaya said the meeting was set up by a man she did not know.
"I never asked anybody for a particular meeting with Donald Trump Jr., or with anybody else," the Russian lawyer said.