On Sunday, President Donald Trump admitted that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower in an attempt “to get information on an opponent.” The tweet came after multiple news outlets stated that Trump was worried about Don Jr. being in legal trouble for participating in the meeting, which took place on June 9, 2016.
The news media cited unnamed sources who claimed that Trump was concerned that Don Jr. could be in trouble legally for meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer with links to the Kremlin, in Trump Tower, according to a report by BBC News.
Trump replied to the reports in a tweet, admitting that Don Jr. attended the meeting to gather information on “an opponent” and that his participation was “totally legal.”
“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower,” said Trump in the tweet. “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,” Trump added.
The tweet contradicts a previous statement made by Don Jr. regarding the nature of the meeting, which said the meeting was a discussion regarding a suspended program that facilitated adoptions of Russian children by Americans.
Don Jr. later admitted that he agreed to participate in the meeting after being informed that information that could harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign would be offered. He also released an email exchange that led to the meeting.
It was also revealed that Trump dictated Don Jr.’s original statement regarding the nature of the meeting.
The controversy surrounding the meeting involves particular campaign finance laws, specifically those that prohibit accepting anything of value from a foreign national or government.
Trump’s legal team argues that since no information was provided, nothing illegal occurred.
“The question is what law, statute or rule or regulation’s been violated?” said Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s lawyers. “Nobody’s pointed to one.”
Trump has repeatedly denied accusations that he colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, and Russian officials have made similar declarations, denying claims that the country interfered in the election process.