The office of the US Attorney for New York confirmed that Veselnitskaya was issued a permit to stay in the United States from October 2015 to early January 2016. The Justice Department and the State Department could not immediately explain how she was still in the country in June 2016 to meet with President Trump's son.
Trump Jr. has been mired in controversy since he released private emails on Tuesday confirming that he agreed to meet with Veselnitskaya during his father's 2016 election campaign. The emails between Trump Jr. and a publicist show that the president's son believed Veselnitskaya was a lawyer for the Kremlin who was offering to provide damaging information about his father's opponent, then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Veselnitskaya did not represent the Russian government. Veselnitskaya, in turn, told NBC News on Tuesday that she never had any ties to the Kremlin or compromising information on Clinton.
Trump defended his son’s decision to publicize the emails, calling the disclosure "transparent."