White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday claimed there was no way for Donald Trump Jr. to know that a meeting where he was promised compromising information on Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian state effort to aid his father’s campaign was not, in fact, focused on adoption policy.
“There was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for a discussion about adoption and the Magnitsky Act,” Spicer said, referring to a U.S. sanctions program enacted in 2012.
Donald Trump Jr. last week published his email messages arranging a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after he was promised damaging information on Clinton.
The subject line of the email thread in question was “Re: Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.”
In the exchange, Trump family acquaintance Rob Goldstone said he could connect Trump Jr. with “Hillary info” he described as “very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
There was no discussion of adoption or the Magnitsky Act in the emails.
Spicer wrapped up his answer by dismissing Trump Jr.’s eagerness to attain compromising information from a foreign state as routine.
“I’m not going to get into the specifics of this, but I will say that it is quite often for people who are given information during the heat of a campaign to ask what that is,” he said. “That’s what, simply, he did.”