WASHINGTON — President Trump’s eldest son was lured to a meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer with the promise of damaging information about Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, according to a new report.

Donald Trump Jr. attended the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, over the prospect of compromising information that Russian individuals were funding the Democratic nominee, according to the New York Times.

The Times first reported Saturday the existence of the meeting between the lawyer and Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. But new reporting suggests the motivation behind it.

Trump Jr. said the inner circle met with Veselnitskaya at the request of an acquaintance.

“After pleasantries were exchanged,” Trump Jr. said in a statement to the Times, “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”


A spokesman for President Trump, Mark Corallo, said: “The president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”


Trump Jr. said the prospect of dirt on Clinton was the “pretext for the meeting” but after it began, it was clear the real agenda was policy changes that Russian President Vladimir Putin desired regarding the adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act, which targets suspected human rights abusers.


White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday downplayed the meeting as a “big nothing burger” during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”

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