White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asserted on Monday that Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians during the 2016 election season was only about adoptions -- although emails suggest otherwise.
In an off-camera briefing, Spicer was asked about the recent revelations that President Donald Trump's son met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
According to reporters who attended the briefing, Spicer insisted that the meeting had only been about Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, which prompted President Vladimir Putin to halt all Russian adoptions for parents in the U.S.
“There was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe” they discussed another other than the Magnitsky Act, Spicer reportedly said.
.@PressSec says “there was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe” that Don Jr. meeting wasn’t about adoption policy.— Peter Baker (@Peter Baker)1500317136.0
But email records released last week showed that Trump Jr. had reason to believe that Russia could provide damaging information about the Democratic nominee.
The Washington Post reported:
Emails released this week show that Trump Jr. believed he was meeting with a Russian government lawyer who would provide damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian effort to assist his father’s presidential campaign. He was joined at the meeting by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, and Paul Manafort, then a top campaign aide — but Trump Jr. said this week that nothing came of the discussion.
President Donald Trump also suggested in a tweet that his son took the meeting to obtain information about Clinton.
Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1500300475.0
Listen to the audio below.