Donald Trump on Wednesday tried to downplay the significance of his son, Donald Trump Jr.’s, meeting with a Russian lawyer to obtain information billed as potentially detrimental to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The president, who has long-denied that he or members of his campaign had anything to do with Russia, told Reuters he believes “many people would have held that meeting.”
He also insisted he learned about the interaction recently.
“I didn’t know until a couple of days ago when I heard about this,” Trump said of the meeting between Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian emissary.
Despite the emails proving that at least some campaign officials had advanced knowledge of Russia’s interest in helping his candidacy, Trump iterated that Russian President Vladimir Putin denied meddling in the 2016 election.
“I said, did you do it? And he said no, I did not,” Trump said. “Absolutely not. I then asked him a second time in a totally different way. He said absolutely not.”