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Trump Jr. Refuses To Say What He Told President About Meeting With Russians


Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr. has refused to tell U.S. lawmakers about conversations he had with his father regarding a 2016 meeting he held with several Russians at Trump Tower, a top congressional Democrat said.

Trump Jr. spoke to the House of Representatives intelligence committee behind closed doors on December 6 as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump Jr. said that he did not tell the president about the June 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians, including lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya, and he declined to say what he told his father after the meeting was disclosed to the public this year.

Representative Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat, said that Trump Jr. told the committee he couldn't speak about the conversations with his father because of "attorney-client privilege," explaining that a lawyer was present when he spoke to his father about the June 2016 meeting and the e-mails that led up to it.

But Schiff questioned whether that was a valid reason to not tell Congress about the conversations.

"In my view, there is no attorney-client privilege that protects a discussion between father and son," Schiff said.

The Trump Tower meeting is also being investigated by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, attended the meeting with several Russians under the impression that they might receive damaging information about Trump's rival, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Mueller has also shown interest in the White House response to the meeting once it became public. The White House has said the president was involved in drafting an early statement saying the meeting primarily concerned a Russian adoption program.

But e-mails released by Trump Jr. showed that he enthusiastically agreed to the sit-down with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others after he was promised dirt on Clinton.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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