Donald Trump admits his son met with Russians in 2016 to gather information on Clinton

US President Donald Trump has acknowledged his son met with Russians in 2016 at Trump Tower to get information on his election opponent Hillary Clinton, saying it was “totally legal” and “done all the time in politics”.

President Donald Trump defended his eldest son in a Sunday morning tweet, insisting that the infamous June 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr. took with a Russian attorney at Trump Tower to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton was “totally legal.”

In a post on Twitter, Mr Trump also denied reports in the Washington Post and CNN that he was concerned his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, could be in legal trouble because of the meeting with the Russians, including a lawyer with Kremlin ties.

“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower,” the president tweeted. “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

Today’s tweet appears to be the first time the President has publicly accepted the purpose of the meeting – to obtain ‘dirt’ on his opponent to influence the election.

Donald Jr – in a statement understood to have been dictated by the President himself – initially he and Ms Veselnitskaya had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” at the meeting.

While the President had previously accepted the possibility of ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton may have been discussed at the meeting, he and his son maintained the primary focus was adoption.

In today’s tweet, Trump said: “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent.”

He went on to say it was “totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere.”

A foreign national spending money – or giving something of value – in order to influence an election can be a crime, under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 – which is based on statutes that have been on the books since the 1960s.

If a US citizen were to coordinate, conspire or assist in that spending or gift, that could be a criminal conspiracy – even if it comes to nothing.

Trump has always denied he was personally aware of the meeting taking place – something he repeated in today’s tweet, saying: “I did not know about it!”

But his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani last Sunday morning, brought up the idea that Trump’s old lawyer, Michael Cohen, had ‘leaked’ that Trump was told about it.

He told CNN: “[Cohen] said there was a one-on-one meeting that Donald Jr. came in and told him [Donald Trump] the meeting was about to take place. Well, there are two witnesses that say it didn’t happen [Trump and Don Jr.].

Read More : EU president Juncker refuses to hold Trump’s hand during White House visit

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