Back in June of 2016, with the Trump campaign trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits in the polls and fading fast, Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, whom he was told was offering to deliver damaging information on Clinton in exchange for promises that if elected, Donald Trump would ease sanctions on Russia.
Veselnitskaya, in an exclusive interview with Keir Simmons of NBC News, now says she isn’t sure why Don Jr. was under the impression that she had any information on Clinton, adding that perhaps the Trump campaign was so desperate to try and win that Trump’s son projected his wishes onto the meeting. Clearly, she added, the campaign was looking for something to change the equation:
“It’s quite possible that maybe they were looking for such information. They wanted it so badly.”
The Russian lawyer, who denies she has any connections to the Kremlin, also noted that she only expected to meet with Donald Jr. and was surprised when both Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort were also present:
“I never knew who else would be attending the meeting. All I knew that Mr. Donald Trump Jr. was willing to meet with me.
“The other individual who was at the same meeting, was always looking at his phone. He was reading something. He never took any active part in the conversation. That was Mr. Manafort.”
Manafort, who was serving as campaign manager at the time, had deep connections to Russia, having been paid at least $10 million a year for services he rendered on behalf of various shady interests in both Moscow and Kiev.
The fact that Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, attended the meeting could be very bad news for him. Kushner neglected to disclose the meeting with Veselnitskaya when he applied for a security clearance. Such a failure is in violation of federal law.
While Donald Jr. admits he met with Veselnitskaya, he has changed his story of why he took the meeting three times so far. He has now lawyered up and could also be in serious legal jeopardy.
Natalia Veselnitskaya says it's possible Trump Jr. was "longing" for info on the DNC. "They wanted it so badly." https://t.co/VApY0cLIo4
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 11, 2017
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