U.S. President Donald Trump told his son to say that his meeting last year with a Russian lawyer focused primarily on the issue of Russian adoptions and not the presidential campaign, The Washington Post reported on July 31.
The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said Trump personally dictated a statement for his son to present to the press about the June 2016 meeting when it was first disclosed last month.
The statement proved to be misleading when Donald Trump Jr. later released e-mails showing that he eagerly agreed to the meeting with lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya and several other Russians because he was told they would give him information that would be damaging to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Also present at the meeting were Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
The meeting has become a central focus of investigations in Congress and at the Justice Department over alleged Russian attempts to meddle in the presidential election.
Trump attorney Jay Sekulow issued a statement in response to The Washington Post report, saying: “Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent.”