Secret Service smacks down Trump lawyer: Russia meeting was never cleared with us
Attorney Jay Sekulow at a Senate hearing (Screenshot)

The Secret Service hit back at an attempt by President Donald Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow to blame them for the meeting Donald Trump Jr. and key members of the Trump 2016 campaign staff took with Kremlin-aligned lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and a Russian-born lobbyist.

The Hill said that the Secret Service issued a statement on Sunday afternoon responding to Sekulow's statements ABC News' "This Week."

Sekulow said of the Veselnitskaya meeting, "“If this was nefarious, why'd the Secret Service allow these people in? The president had Secret Service protection at that point. That raised a question with me.”

The issued a statement to Reuters that said, "Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time."

The Secret Service does not protect the families of presidential candidates, but only assigns a detail to the candidate themselves within 120 days of a general election.

The Hill said that the agency's website states its purview as protection of "the president, vice president, the president-elect, the vice president-elect, as well as other individuals in the presidential line of succession."