04:53 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Donald Trump Jr., the son of President Donald Trump

    Trump's Son, Son-in-Law Met Russian Lawyer in 2016 to Discuss Adoption Program

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    Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of US President Donald Trump, along with Paul Manafort, Trump's presidential campaign manager, and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, met with a Russian lawyer to discuss the suspended program of adoption of children from Russia by US citizens during 2016 election campaign, local media reported Saturday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, "Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin," in the Trump Tower in New York on June 9, 2016 in the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Trump’s inner circle during the campaign, New York Times reported, citing confidential government records.

    "It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up," the newspaper quoted Donald Trump Jr. as saying in a statement.

    According to the publication, Trump Jr. also said that he had been invited to a meeting through acquaintances and he did not know the name of the person with whom he was going to talk with.

    US media regularly report, usually citing unnamed sources, about the contacts Trump's election campaign members with Russian officials and businessmen. Russia has repeatedly denied these allegations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called them "absolutely unsubstantiated." Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking of alleged Russian intervention in the elections in the US, France and Germany, said that there are no facts confirming this.

    According to the newspaper, lawyer Veselnitskaya is known for campaigning against the so-called "Magnitsky Act" signed into US law in 2012. Under the law, some 44 Russian citizens have been put on a list that allows the United States to seize their US assets and deny them visas. In response to the US actions, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed in late 2012 the so-called "Dima Yakovlev Law", which imposed a ban on the adoption of Russian children by US nationals, among other provisions. The law is named after a Russian toddler who died of heatstroke in 2008 after his adoptive US father left him in a car in the sun for nine hours.

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    adoption, Donald Trump Jr, Russia, United States
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