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White House Admits Trump Helped Draft Statement About Meeting With Russian

Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya (left) met at Trump Tower in New York with Donald Trump Jr. (right) in June 2016

The White House acknowledged on August 1 that U.S. President Donald Trump helped draft a statement about his son's meeting last year with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign.

The Washington Post reported on July 31 that Trump told his son Donald Jr. to tell the press the meeting focused primarily on U.S. adoptions of Russian children, although e-mails later showed it was set up to discuss potentially damaging information about Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump only "weighed in, offered suggestions, like any father would do."

She said Trump Jr.'s statement to the press when the meeting was first disclosed last month was true and there was "no inaccuracy" in it.

The incident shows the president's determination to tamp down and manage the allegations about Russian meddling in the presidential electon which have dogged his presidency since he took office.

It may intensify charges from lawmakers that Trump is trying to cover up connections with a foreign government accused of trying to tilt the election in his favor.

Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow dismissed reports of the incident as "misinformed."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters