Trump′s son ′was told′ Russia planned to help his father′s campaign - US media | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 10.07.2017
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Trump's son 'was told' Russia planned to help his father's campaign - US media

The New York Times reported that Donald Trump Jr. was told in an email of Moscow's effort to aid his father's presidential bid. The 39-year-old is the latest in the Trump entourage to be implicated in the Russia affair.

Citing three people with knowledge of the email, The New York Times on Tuesday said US President Donald Trump's eldest son was informed that Russia sought to support the billionaire's candidacy in last November's election.

The Times said the email was sent by British publicist Rob Goldstone who helped broker a meeting between a Russian lawyer and Trump Jr. The lawyer claimed to have potentially explosive information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Jr. was informed in the email that the Russian government was the source of the revelations about the former US Secretary of State, the paper said.

The email disclosure was the third Times report that named Trump Jr. as potentially linked to a scandal over whether Moscow sought to influence the US election.

Read: Donald Trump and Richard Nixon: Parallels between Russia and Watergate

Claims dismissed

Earlier on Monday, the 39-year-old took to Twitter to defend previous newspaper claims about the secret meeting with Russian lawyer Natalaia Veslnitskaya, which he denounced as a "big yawn."

"Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent... went nowhere but had to listen," he added.

The Times said Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, and the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended the meeting.

Despite hitting back at the claims, Trump Jr. hired New York criminal defense lawyer Alan Futerfas on Monday to represent him.

Before the email's existence was revealed, Futerfas defended his new client to the Reuters news agency, saying that "quite frankly, there is nothing to all of the media buzz about the June 9th, 2016 meeting. That will be proven to be the case."

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at G20

After months of accusations about Russia's meddling in the US election, Trump and Putin finally met at the G20 summit in Hamburg

Three Trump officials attended

The newspaper's disclosure makes Trump's eldest son the latest member of the president's entourage to become embroiled in a worsening scandal over possible links with Russian officials in the lead-up to last November's election.

Read: Few Germans expect Donald Trump to last four years

Among several tactics being investigated, Congressional committees and special counsel Robert Mueller are trying to uncover whether Moscow ordered several cyber attacks and an "influence campaign" to weaken Clinton's chances of winning the White House.

Trump's National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort have so far been implicated in the probe.

Trump Jr. faces questions

Later on Monday, both Republican and Democrat members of a Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the scandal said they wanted to interview Trump Jr.

"Trump officials keep conveniently forgetting about meetings with Russians, only to recant after being confronted with evidence to the contrary," Virginia Senator Mark Warner and vice chairman of the committee tweeted.

Meanwhile, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said there was nothing inappropriate about the meeting with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

"Don Junior took a very short meeting from which there was absolutely no follow-up," she told reporters.

The Kremlin has denied it knew lawyer Veselnitskaya's identity, despite her reportedly having claimed she had links to top Russian officials.

mm/gsw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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