President Trump said Thursday that “most people” in politics would have taken the meeting that his son Donald Trump Jr. arranged with a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign.
“That’s very standard in politics,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference in Paris. “It’s called opposition research or research into your opponent.”
He called his son “a fine person.”
“My son is a wonderful young man,” the president said. “He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer but a Russian lawyer. It was a short meeting that went very, very quickly, very fast. From a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting.”
Democrats are calling for renewed investigations into collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, saying the younger Trump should not have sought information from a foreign operative.
The president said “nothing happened from the meeting, zero happened.”
Mr. Trump also asserted that the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was cleared into the U.S. by the Obama Justice Department under extraordinary circumstances on a lobbying campaign with Congress and others to change U.S. adoption policy toward Russia.
“She was in the halls of Congress, also,” Mr. Trump said. “Somebody said that her visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by Attorney General [Loretta] Lynch. Maybe that’s wrong. I just heard that a little while ago. That’s why she was here, because of Lynch.”
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