A Sunday tweet by US President Donald Trump said that an infamous meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was arranged to "get information on an opponent."
In his tweet, Trump claimed that the action was "totally legal" and that he did not know about the meeting in advance. He also asserted that the meeting "went nowhere."
Trump noted that he is not concerned that his son could be in legal trouble due to the meeting, claiming that any report that is in disagreement with him is a "complete fabrication."
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics — and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
The meeting in question took place in Trump Tower in New York City on June 9, 2016, and was attended by Don Jr., Paul Manafort — Trump's campaign manager at the time — and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Following the Nytimes.com publication of the meeting, Don Jr. said in a statement to the Times that the meeting was focused on the adoption of Russian children in the United States. The successful program had been popular in the US for several years prior to being shut down as relations between Moscow and Washington spiraled downward in 2012.
The next day, the New York Times reported that Don Jr. had been offered damaging information on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with Veselnitskaya, whom the newspaper characterized as a "Kremlin-linked lawyer."
Later reports suggested that then-candidate Trump dictated the statement himself, an assertion that has been repeatedly denied by the president's team, including attorney Jay Sekulow.
Sunday's tweet by the US president is not an eye-opening revelation, as, back on July 17, 2017, Trump tweeted for the first time that his son attended a meeting to get "info on an opponent," claiming that "most politicians" would regard the move as normal political maneuvering.
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
Trump has repeatedly insisted that he was not aware of the June 9, 2016, meeting prior to its occurrence.
The US Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, Robert Mueller, is currently conducting an investigation into Trump's 2016 campaign, and allegations of collusion by Trump with Russia to win the election.
Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort is currently on trial for unrelated charges of money laundering in Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly denied imeddling in the 2016 US presidential elections.
According to FactCheck.org, there is no publicly available evidence that Veselnitskaya provided incriminating information on candidate Clinton.