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Did Trump know about his son's meeting?

15 July 2017

The lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the US, where he holds dual citizenship, according to NBC News, which first reported the story Friday.

The confirmation of Akhmetshin's participation in the meeting drew swift reaction from the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee.

Speaking to CNN, Grassley justified the request by citing the Committee's duty to oversight and said he wanted to provide Trump Jr. with a venue to further clarify why the meeting took place.

Akhmetshin has said previously that he served in Soviet counterintelligence, although he denied in an interview with RFE/RL past year that he had served in Soviet military intelligence.

While Trump Jr. has since said, in hindsight, he would have done things differently, his father on Thursday took a more defiant tone and seemed to blame the Obama administration for letting the lawyer into the country.

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The lawyer for Donald Trump Jr. has not responded. I think the press made a very big deal over something that really a lot of people would do.

Akhmetshin also spoke with the Associated Press and said that at the June 9, 2016, meeting, also attended by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump Jr. asked Veselnitskaya for evidence of illicit money flowing to the Democratic National Committee.

Update 10:22am CT, July 14: The AP has identified the ex-spy as Rinat Akhmetshin, who confirmed the meeting.

"The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research", Trump Jr. wrote in a statement that was published alongside the correspondence.

According to the reports, Trump Jr met the lawyer at Trump Tower in NY in June. Russian Federation may well have done more - or tried to, at least - and Trump Jr.'s emails show that he was eager to receive anything damaging to Clinton, even from a foreign adversary. But because it was an irrelevant meeting, with irrelevant information, I'm sure they just shrugged it off and said it's one more set of conmen and women coming in and having some angle that we're just going to dismiss.

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Along with Trump Jr., at last June's meeting were then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump's son-n-law and adviser Jared Kushner.

Alan Futerfas, an attorney representing Trump Jr., told NBC News that the lobbyist "is a USA citizen". The person Futerfas spoke to told the lawyer that he was not working for the Russian government, according to NBC.

"My son is a wonderful young man".

Trump Jr. has found himself engulfed in controversy after releasing emails shared between him and publicist Rob Goldman, who brokered the meeting. One can easily explain Trump's June 7 promise to discuss Hillary's Russian Federation connection as triggered not by any knowledge of his son's impending meeting, but by the shot Hillary took at him a few days before.

The Trump team's story of what happened in the meeting and who was involved continues to change as more facts about it emerge.

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