Members of President Trump’s family reportedly met with a lawyer linked with the Kremlin in June of last year — although the Trump team believes the meeting may have been sought as part of an effort to create the impression of an improper connection between Trump’s team and Russia.
The New York Times reported late Saturday that Donald Trump Jr., along with then-campaign chair Paul Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, met with a Russian lawyer with connections to the Kremlin at Trump Tower.
The Times reported that the meeting occurred on June 9, and it notes that this is the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and a member of Trump’s inner circle. Reps for Trump Jr. and Kushner confirmed the meeting to the Times but described it as primarily about an adoption program.
The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, has reportedly been fighting the Magnitsky Act — an American law that blacklists Russian human rights abusers and triggered Russian President Vladimir Putin to halt American adoptions of Russian children.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump’s legal team, told Circa:
"We have learned from both our own investigation and public reports that the participants in the meeting misrepresented who they were and who they worked for. Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier."