Trump Defends His Son’s Meeting with Russian Offering Clinton Dirt as “Very Standard”

“Most people would have taken that meeting.”

Trump chats with Macron in Hamburg at the G20 meeting earlier this month.Emmanuele Contin/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his son’s decision to arrange a meeting with a Russian lawyer who purportedly had incriminating information on Hillary Clinton as “very standard,” asserting “most people” in his son’s position would have acted the same way. 

“My son is a wonderful young man,” Trump said at a press conference in Paris, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. “He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer—not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer.”

“I do think that from a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting,” he continued. “It’s called opposition research, opposition on your opponent.”

“Politics is not the nicest business in the world,” he added.

Trump also appeared to blame former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch for setting the stage for his son’s email scandal, alleging she worked to approve a visa for the Kremlin-connected lawyer at the center of the controversy.

The remarks come on the heels of the New York Times‘ bombshell report on emails revealing the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had leapt at the chance to meet a Kremlin-linked lawyer who wanted to offer damaging information on Hillary Clinton. The emails published on Monday appear to be the first piece of hard evidence showing Trump associates were willing to work with the Russian government to win the 2016 presidential election.

Trump is in Paris for Friday’s Bastille Day celebrations.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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