Federal investigators working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller are keenly focused on President Donald Trump’s role in crafting a response to a published article about a meeting between Russians and his son Donald Jr., three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The sources told NBC News that prosecutors want to know what Trump knew about the meeting and whether he sought to conceal its purpose.
The meeting occurred at Trump Tower in June 2016 and was attended by Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The meeting, which was first reported by The New York Times, also involved Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya and former Soviet intelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin.
At the time, the White House confirmed that Trump had “weighed in” as the response to the Times report was drafted aboard Air Force One on July 8 as the president returned to the U.S. from the G20 meeting in Germany. The Washington Post reported that Trump had “dictated” the response.
The initial response by Donald Trump Jr. that was drafted aboard Air Force One described the 2016 meeting as “a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.”
According to The Times, he added: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”
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