President Donald Trump defended his son on Tuesday amid dramatic revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met in 2016 with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to aide Trump’s candidacy.
“My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency,” Trump said in a statement that was read by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders during an off-camera press briefing.
“And beyond that, I’m going to have to refer everything on this matter to Don Jr.’s counsel and outside counsel and won’t have anything else to add beyond that today,” Sanders added.
“Do you know the last time the President spoke with Don Jr.?” a reporter asked later.
“I don’t,” Sanders said.
On Tuesday, just as the New York Times was publishing its own version of the story, Donald Trump Jr. published emails showing that he accepted a meeting in June 2016 with an then-unnamed Russian lawyer — and he brought Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort along — after a family acquaintance promised that the lawyer would share damaging information about Hillary Clinton that was part of a Russian government effort to aide Donald Trump’s campaign.
This post has been updated.