U.S. Congress questions Trump Jr as Russia probe steps up_Top News_Asia Pacific Daily

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U.S. Congress questions Trump Jr as Russia probe steps up

Top News2017-12-07

Donald Trump Jr has made another appearance before the US Congress to face questions about his contacts with Russia as investigations continue into whether his father's presidential campaign colluded with Moscow. His June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the height of the campaign has made President Trump's eldest son a key figure in the investigations. Donald Trump Jr entered and exited the House Intelligence Committee hearing from a back door, avoiding the media, and nothing was immediately released about the discussions. But according to CNN, the Veselnitskaya meeting and how the White House tried to explain it away as a discussion about US adoption of Russian orphans was one focus of the questioning. Donald Trump Jr spoke with his father after a report of his 2016 meeting with Russians surfaced but he has refused to say what they discussed. A separate 2016 meeting with Alexander Torshin, a senior Russian politician and central banker close to President Vladimir Putin, has added to the scrutiny. NBC News reported Tuesday that in recent written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Veselnitskaya said Trump Jr had asked her in the June 2016 meeting for evidence of illegal donations to the foundation of former president Bill Clinton, the husband of Trump's Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton. But Veselnitskaya said she hadn't offered anything like that and had only met to discuss the US Magnitsky Act used to place sanctions on high-level Russians. "Today, I understand why it took place to begin with and why it ended so quickly with a feeling of mutual disappointment and time wasted," Veselnitskaya wrote of the meeting, according to NBC. She also said that when he found that she did not have any dirt on the Clintons, Trump Jr appeared to lose interest. In May last year, Trump Jr also met Torshin at a US National Rifle Association event. Trump Jr's lawyer Alan Futerfas said last month that there was only "small talk" between them. But emails have shown Torshin trying to arrange a meeting with then-candidate Trump, an overture that was turned down by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law. Those contacts and others not previously reported publicly by the Trump campaign are important to the investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is looking at allegations of collusion and also possible obstruction of justice by President Trump and people around him. Mueller has charged four people so far, including two –George Papadopoulos, a campaign foreign policy adviser who maintained Russian contacts, and former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn – with lying to investigators. (AFP&REUTERS)

Donald Trump Jr has made another appearance before the US Congress to face questions about his contacts with Russia as investigations continue into whether his father's presidential campaign colluded with Moscow.

His June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the height of the campaign has made President Trump's eldest son a key figure in the investigations.

Donald Trump Jr entered and exited the House Intelligence Committee hearing from a back door, avoiding the media, and nothing was immediately released about the discussions.

But according to CNN, the Veselnitskaya meeting and how the White House tried to explain it away as a discussion about US adoption of Russian orphans was one focus of the questioning.

Donald Trump Jr spoke with his father after a report of his 2016 meeting with Russians surfaced but he has refused to say what they discussed.

A separate 2016 meeting with Alexander Torshin, a senior Russian politician and central banker close to President Vladimir Putin, has added to the scrutiny.

NBC News reported Tuesday that in recent written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Veselnitskaya said Trump Jr had asked her in the June 2016 meeting for evidence of illegal donations to the foundation of former president Bill Clinton, the husband of Trump's Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton.

But Veselnitskaya said she hadn't offered anything like that and had only met to discuss the US Magnitsky Act used to place sanctions on high-level Russians.

"Today, I understand why it took place to begin with and why it ended so quickly with a feeling of mutual disappointment and time wasted," Veselnitskaya wrote of the meeting, according to NBC.

She also said that when he found that she did not have any dirt on the Clintons, Trump Jr appeared to lose interest.

In May last year, Trump Jr also met Torshin at a US National Rifle Association event. Trump Jr's lawyer Alan Futerfas said last month that there was only "small talk" between them. But emails have shown Torshin trying to arrange a meeting with then-candidate Trump, an overture that was turned down by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law.

Those contacts and others not previously reported publicly by the Trump campaign are important to the investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is looking at allegations of collusion and also possible obstruction of justice by President Trump and people around him.

Mueller has charged four people so far, including two –George Papadopoulos, a campaign foreign policy adviser who maintained Russian contacts, and former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn – with lying to investigators.

(AFP&REUTERS)

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