Emails released by the US President’s eldest son last week, showed that he met with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last summer, along with Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, the Republican campaign’s then chairman.
Mr Trump Jr’s response to being offered compromising information about Hillary Clinton ahead of the November election was to write “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer”.
He said the meeting, which happened between May and June 2016, “came to nothing” and stressed “his father knew nothing about it”.
However, Mr Spicer insisted there was nothing “that would lead anyone to believe” that the meeting was for anything except for a discussion about adoptions.
During an off-camera White House briefing, he said “that it is quite often for people who are given information during the heat of a campaign to ask what that is.”
He added: “That’s what simply he did. And there was nothing, as far as we know, that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for a discussion about adoption and the Magnitsky Act.”
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The Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The Russian government retaliated against the US’s passage of the law by halting adoptions of Russian children by Americans.
On Fox News, Mr Trump Jr defended his decision to meet with Ms Veselnitskaya, asserting that for him, “this was opposition research”.
The President has also tweeted that “most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent,” declaring “That’s politics!”
Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That’s politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2017
But observers – including the President’s pick for FBI Director, Christopher Wray – have said that anyone who is approached by a hostile government for opposition research should contact the FBI rather than take the meeting.
There are multiple federal and congressional investigations into whether Trump campaign advisers colluded with the Russian government to…