Trump Jr. meets with Russian lawyer to discuss adoption
Trump Jr., his father and Trump’s eldest son, met with a Russian lawyer last week at Trump Tower in New York, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The source described the meeting as “very brief” and “not an event” but said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss adoptions by Russian families.
The New York Times reported that the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, asked Trump Jr about his father’s controversial opposition to the Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses.
Trump Jr.’s response to Veselninskaya’s question was that it would be best to keep this information confidential, the source said.
Trump has not said whether the meeting with Veselnicskaya was part of a broader effort to cultivate his father.
The president has denied wrongdoing and said he is innocent.
The Magnitskys were a small but influential group of Russian-Americans who had fled to the United States in 2008 after Vladimir Putin’s regime arrested and killed their adopted son.
They were part of the so-called Magnitskaya report, which accused Putin of using the Magnksy case as a pretext to target the Magnikavksy family and other prominent Russian dissidents.
Trump and Putin have denied any wrongdoing.
Trump’s first response to the meeting between Trump Jr and Veselnyskaya was a tweet on Thursday night that said “there was absolutely no collusion between my campaign and Russia, and nobody was treated fairly.”
In a subsequent tweet, Trump wrote that the meeting “was a set up by the Democrats in order to distract from the Russia story.”
The president did not say whether he would release his tax returns.
The meeting was first reported by Politico and the New York Post.
The Associated Press first reported Veselník’s attendance at the meeting.
Trump also had a meeting with a top Democratic donor in June, according with the AP.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.