PARIS — President Donald Trump on Thursday defended a meeting his eldest son had held with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer during his campaign last June, saying that “most people would have taken that meeting” and that “nothing happened from the meeting, zero happened from the meeting.”
“My son is wonderful young man,” Trump said during a news conference in Paris with President Emmanuel Macron of France. “He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer. Not a government lawyer; a Russian lawyer.”
Trump came to Paris at the invitation of Macron to take part in Bastille Day celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.
As the two leaders, an odd couple on the international stage, faced the news media after a private meeting in the Élysée Palace, they sought to play down sharp differences over trade, immigration and climate change. Macron looked on as Trump defended his son in the mushrooming scandal over links between his presidential campaign and the Russian government.
Trump said Donald Trump Jr. had merely been responding to a person offering opposition research on his opponent, Hillary Clinton — a common practice in presidential campaigns. “Politics is not the nicest business,” he said, noting that he had received similar offers.
The president injected one mysterious note into his answer, asserting that President Barack Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, had approved a visa for the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to enter the United States. Entry visas are normally granted by the State Department.
On climate change, Trump…
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