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Trump Continues To Defend Son's Meeting With Russian Lawyer

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President Donald Trump continued to defend his son's meeting with a Russia lawyer on Thursday, reiterating his argument that most people would have taken the meeting.

Speaking at a news conference alongside French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, Trump downplayed the significance of the meeting, which has attracted considerable media attention.

"I think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting," Trump told reporters. "It's called opposition research or even research into your opponent."

The comments from the president come after Donald Trump Jr. released a chain of emails that led to his meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The emails between Trump Jr. and publicist Rob Goldstone suggest a "Russian government attorney" was willing to provide information that would "incriminate" Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Goldstone told Trump Jr. the offer of "very high level and sensitive information" was part of the Russian government's support for his father's campaign.

However, Trump Jr. has said Veselnitskaya had no information to provide about Clinton and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act.

Trump noted that the meeting went "very fast" and pointed to reports indicating that his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner "left almost immediately" and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort was "not really focused on the meeting."

"I have only been in politics for two years, but I've had many people call up: 'Oh, gee, we have information on this factor or this person or, frankly, Hillary,'" Trump said.

"That's very standard in politics. Politics is not the nicest business in the world," he added. "But it's very standard where they have information and you take the information."

Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday he was not aware of the meeting between his son and Veselnitskaya until a couple of days ago and argued that most politicians would agree to have such a meeting.

"Most of the phony politicians who are Democrats who I watched over the last couple of days - most of those phonies that act holier-than-thou, if the same thing happened to them, they would have taken that meeting in a heartbeat," Trump said.

During the news conference with Macron, Trump was also asked about his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change accord.

"Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord. We'll see what happens," Trump said. "But we will talk about that over the coming period of time."

"And if it happens, that will be wonderful, and if it doesn't, that will be OK, too," he added. "But we'll see what happens."

Macron and other world leaders have been critical of Trump's decision to withdraw from the global climate agreement.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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