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Donald Trump Jr plays down 'bait and switch' meeting with Russian lawyer

His father has said the meeting was “totally legal”.

d Donald Trump J Source: Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

DONALD TRUMP JUNIOR has downplayed a 2016 meeting he had with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in New York.

The US president’s eldest son made the comments on conservative podcast The Laura Ingraham Show.

On Sunday, Trump Sr tweeted that the meeting was “totally legal” and “to get information on an opponent” but that it “went nowhere”.

Tweet by @Donald J. Trump Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter

In his remarks yesterday, Trump Jr said the main topic he and lawyer Natalia Vishnevskaya spoke about during the 20-minute meeting was Russian adoptions.

“You know that’s not the premise that got them in the room … it was essentially a bait and switch to talk about that, and everyone has basically said that in testimony already,” he said.

It ended up being about essentially nothing that was relevant to any of these things. That’s all it is and that’s all they’ve got.

He added that media coverage of the meeting was the “ultimate distraction” from his father’s work.

“You have a Republican president, a very conservative president, who is getting stuff done,” he said.

The meeting is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his inquiry into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Paul Manafort 

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chief, is the first defendant to go to court to fight charges stemming from Mueller’s investigation.

Rick Gates, the key witness in the trial, today described in detail how he helped his ex-boss evade US taxes on millions of dollars for political consulting work done in Ukraine.

Gates, Manafort’s long-time business partner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in February and is cooperating with the government in exchange for a more lenient prison sentence.

He was testifying for the second day before a packed courtroom at Manafort’s trial on tax and bank fraud charges in Alexandria, Virginia.

The charges are not connected to Manafort’s time as Trump’s campaign chairman.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

Contains reporting from © AFP 2018 

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Órla Ryan

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