White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said an undisclosed meeting that took place between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, former Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer “was nothing” during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”
The comments come after The New York Times reported Trump Jr. arranged a meeting shortly before his father secured the presidential nomination. According to Priebus, it was a short meeting pertaining to Russian adoptions.
“It was a short meeting, a meeting apparently about Russian adoption, and after about 20 minutes, the meeting ended and that was the end of it,” he said. “As far as nondisclosure, Jared Kushner put in his disclosure a little prematurely. He has since amended it. It was a nothing meeting.”
Priebus argued it’s not unprecedented for campaign staff to discuss foreign policy issues with foreign officials ahead of an election.
“Talking about issues of foreign policy, issues related to our place in the world, issues important to the American people like adoption,” he said, adding he believes Democrats are making an issue out of nothing. “I don’t know much about it other than it seems to be on the end of the Trump individuals a big nothing burger but may spin out of control for the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and the Democrats.”
Citing an article by Circa, Priebus noted the president’s legal team thinks The New York Times piece was likely orchestrated by democratic operatives connected to Fusion GPS, the group responsible for producing the now-discredited intelligence dossier on President Donald Trump.
“We have learned from both our own investigation and public reports that the participants in the meeting misrepresented who they were and who they worked for,” Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump’s lawyers, said in a statement, according to the publication. “Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the President and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier.”
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