Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

House Intelligence committee questions Donald Trump Jr. on Russian Federation contacts

House Intelligence committee questions Donald Trump Jr. on Russian Federation contacts

Details were limited from Donald Trump Jr.'s closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, but sources said the younger Mr. Trump tried to draw clear lines between himself and his father concerning the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was said to have "dirt" from the Russian government on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"I don't believe you can shield communications between individuals merely by having an attorney present", he told reporters.

President Trump has repeatedly denied knowing about the meeting, which included his son, Mr. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, until it was reported last summer.

The admission by his Trump's eldest son raises the question of how closely the Trumps coordinated on their response to the bombshell revelations and could bolster the case that President Trump participated in an effort to craft a false public explanation for the Trump Tower meeting. The statement said the Trump Tower meeting focused on "a program about the adoption of Russian children" that the Kremlin ended after the USA imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs in 2012.

The committee is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.


The interview with President Donald Trump's eldest son comes as both the House and Senate intelligence panels are investigating a meeting that Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign officials held with Russians previous year. Veselnitskaya says Trump pressed her for written evidence of malfeasance by Clinton during the meeting.

Schiff said that while Trump Jr. admitted speaking to his father about his response to reports on the meeting, he "refused to answer questions about that meeting on the basis a claim of attorney client privilege".

His Wednesday session with the House committee was longer and more expansive, and it was the first opportunity elected lawmakers have had to ask Trump Jr. questions directly, instead of leaving that to investigative staff.

Donald Trump Jr. has refused to tell US lawmakers about conversations he had with his father regarding a 2016 meeting he had with several Russians at Trump Tower, a top congressional Democrat said.

The sources tell ABC News that the committee's questions focused on what information was exchanged during the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in New York City, and the president's oldest son indicated the short gathering did not produce any information and ended quickly.

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