Donald Trump’s presidency is always under scrutiny, and any event that occurs may be termed as a way to undermine him and his administration. In the spotlight is Donald Trump Jr, President Trump’s eldest son, who together with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and Paul Manafort, then-campaign chairman for Trump’s Presidential team, met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.
According to Times, the meeting was two weeks after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination. It’s was assumed that the so-called lawyer had ties to the Kremlin, and rumors suggested that Trump Jr. was trying to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. Hillary was by-then the Democratic presidential candidate. The meeting was set up over a series of emails between Donald Trump Jr. and Rob Goldstone, a publicist and music producer.
Natalia Veselnitskaya was the Russian lawyer in that meeting with three high-ranked members of Trump’s campaign. The undisclosed meeting took place at Trump Tower in Manhattan on June 9, 2016. Natalia’s husband used to be a member of the Russian Government and was famously known for going against the Magnitsky Act. The Act blacklists any suspected Russian human abusers. This law prohibits any American from trying to adopt a Russian child.
Donald Trump Jr. argued the reason for attending the meeting was to discuss the matter of Americans trying to adopt Russian Children which was closed-down in 2009, and it’s wasn’t a hidden political agenda concerning his father. Trump Jr. stated that he didn’t have a clue who he meeting that day and the idea to attend that meeting came from an acquaintance. He added that he was the one who asked Kushner, currently a senior White House adviser, and Manafort to accompany him to the meeting.
“It was a short introductory meeting” is how Trump Jr. described the situation. Why such an uproar?While being interviewed back in March Trump Jr. declined ever attending any meeting with any Russian national linking to the presidential campaigns.
“It was not a campaign issue at the time, and there was no follow up,” he stated. This was the first time Trump Jr. had attended a meeting with any Russian.
To his defense, Jared Kushner through his lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, claimed that the only reason why he even participated in the meeting was because his brother-in-law Trump Jr. invited him. Manafort also refuted claims of any Russian connection and added that his Ukraine job was not even related to the Presidential campaigns.
The news of the meeting comes after President Trump has been accused of being in connection with the Russian intelligence while they attempted to sabotage the 2016 elections. According to many sources, Donald Trump Jr’s meeting is the first meeting confirmed between an official Trump campaign member and a Russian national.
Trump Jr. has since appeared on Fox News, where he admitted he would’ve “done things a little differently” in retrospect.