White House senior adviser Jared Kushner (right) has admitted to meeting a Russian lawyer during last year's US election campaign.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner (right) has admitted to meeting a Russian lawyer during last year's US election campaign. Olivier Douliery / POOL

Trump family met Kremlin lawyer

DONALD Trump's oldest son, Donald Jnr, and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a lawyer connected to the Kremlin during the 2016 election campaign after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, a report from the New York Times says.

Three White House advisers and two other sources with knowledge of the meeting confirmed the news that those members of the Trump campaign were keen on hearing about compromising information about Mrs Clinton from the sources with connections to Russia.

Mr Trump Jnr and Mr Kushner were accompanied by Paul Manafort, who was the campaign manager for Mr Trump at the time.

It is the first time reports have indicated members of the Trump campaign's inner circle met with Russian officials during the campaign.

In January, Vice-President Mike Pence was asked if any Trump campaign member had contact with the Russians. His response was "of course not”.

Mr Trump Jnr confirmed the meeting had taken place, but said he met with the lawyer at the request of a friend.

"After pleasantries were exchanged,” he said in a statement, "the woman stated she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs Clinton.

"Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear she had no meaningful information.”

He indicated he then changed the subject to adoption of Russian children and a US law that blacklists Russians suspected of com- mitting human rights abuses.

The news comes as a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, expands his investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, and after the US government formally accused Russia of having worked to tip the election in Mr Trump's favour.

The meeting was disclosed to government officials recently after Mr Kushner filed a revised statement noting any contacts he may have had with foreign sources during the campaign.

Mr Kushner's representatives said that he had not mentioned the meeting before because of an error in paperwork.

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