President Trump reportedly signed off on the initial statement his son, Donald Trump Jr. issued in response to a New York Times story claiming he met with a Russia-linked lawyer who allegedly promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
A small group of Trump’s advisors met privately while Trump was flying back from Europe on Saturday to try to craft a statement to give to The Times, according to a report from the newspaper.
Citing people familiar with the discussions, The Times said Trump’s advisers debated how transparent to be about the situation.
However, the finished response, approved by the president, “was so incomplete that it required day after day of follow-up statements, each more revealing than the last,” The Times’ Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman wrote.
Trump Jr.’s initial statement said the meeting “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children,” without mentioning that he was offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Business Insider reported. Trump Jr.’s statements evolved as The Times published more information on Trump Jr.’s communications.
It culminated Tuesday in tweets from Trump Jr., showing what he said were the emails he received and sent about the meeting. He was told in his email correspondence that the crown prosecutor of Russia “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate” Hillary Clinton. The information was allegedly offered as a direct help from the Russian government to the Trump campaign.