Ex-Soviet counter-intelligence officer at Trump Jr., Russian lawyer meeting

Gwen Vasquez
July 14, 2017

That's very standard in politics.

"I think from a practical standpoint most people would've taken that meeting. It's called opposition research, or even research into your opponent", Trump said. "Politics is not the nicest business in the world".

The president reiterated that his son is a "wonderful young man". Grassley said he would subpoena Manafort if need be. Prior to Trump's decision on the U.S. exit from the Paris deal, Macron held several talks with him on the issue and strongly criticized the United States president's move later.

Mr Trump claims the meeting was brief, and that he did not receive intel on former Secretary of State Clinton.

Trump Jr. - in his interview with Hannity - said that he is willing to testify under oath about the meeting.

In the June 2016 emails, Trump Jr. eagerly agrees to a meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer who is said to possess incriminating information about Clinton and invites Kushner and Manafort to come along. The government, the lawyer said, "made the further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the country to assist".

Again the body language was warm, with Trump complimenting Macron's wife and even giving the French leader a lift back to the presidency in his eight-tonne auto, known as The Beast.

"Nothing happened from the meeting", he added.

"When the Russians get their hands on cyber intelligence, they exploit it - as they did last month with the NotPetya malware attack targeting Ukraine and the West".

Already a "person of interest" in the special counsel's probe on multiple fronts, federal investigators are now looking into Kushner's attendance at a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was one of more than 100 foreign contacts disclosed in three separate revisions to his security clearance forms. On Tuesday, Trump Jr. tweeted out emails with British publicist Rob Goldstone that showed how the meeting was set up.

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Seeking a greater influence in foreign policy, Congress has included such "review" provisions in a few recent major bills, starting with Corker's 2015 legislation forcing congressional review of President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. Dianne Feinstein, told CNN on Thursday that she wants the president's oldest son to go before the committee as early as next week.

The revelation of the meeting would be the most tangible evidence yet of a connection between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, a subject that has also prompted an investigation by a federal special counsel.

Kushner was not with the president in Paris.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said Thursday that he was approached by a Russian operative while in Moscow past year about negative information about a US law that angered President Vladimir Putin.

The Hill said it based its report on "interviews with participants and recipients of the campaign".

The Trump family's evolving explanations and defenses will be tested by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which wants to hear testimony from Trump Jr. next week. Trump's legal team is growing concerned that Kushner's centrality to the Russian Federation investigation and closeness to the President could pose a legal risk.

Futerfas told NBC that, "for the goal of security or otherwise, the names were reviewed" but said Trump Jr. knew nothing about the man's background at the time of the meeting.

Trump also questioned whether Putin was really gunning for his victory, as USA intelligence agencies have concluded.

Rich told Tom that the Russian Federation story may be a "something-burger".

"The friendship between our two nations and ourselves is unbreakable", Trump said after talks at the French presidential palace focused on joint US-French efforts to fight terrorism in the Middle East and Africa.

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