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US Senate panel releases report on 2016 Trump Tower meeting

IANS  |  Washington 

A panel on Wednesday released documents about a June 2016 meeting between campaign aides and a Russian delegation.

Among the documents released was a transcript of the testimony before the by the President's son, Jr, who attended the June 9 meeting at in New York, the US media reported.

The Committee, which is conducting one of several investigations into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election, interviewed and four other people who attended the meeting.

In his testimony, said he couldn't remember whether or not his father was involved in drafting an initial statement in response to the meeting. "I don't know. I never spoke to my father about it," he said.

However, the 2,500 pages of transcripts confirmed that and campaign aides wanted "dirt" on his father's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, reported.

Rob Goldstone, who arranged the meeting with Russian Natalia Veselnitskaya, Russian-American Rinat Akhmetshin, Georgian-American and a testified before the panel.

In the lead-up to the meeting, Goldstone had told Trump Jr that Veselnitskaya would provide dirt on Clinton from Russian sources.

"If it's what you say I love it," Trump Jr responded to Goldstone ahead of the meeting which was also attended by Trump's and then campaign chief

But the participants said Veselnitskaya did not in fact provide dirt on Clinton, instead focusing on overturning the US sanctions on under the that the US passed to punish Russian human rights abuses.

Asked what Veselnitskaya was talking about regarding the damaging opposition research, Trump Jr said: "It generally started out as people with... perhaps general interest in I'm not sure if they were US or based, but business people who were supporters of the and perhaps were in some sort of tax scheme to avoid paying taxes in both the US and Russia."

Trump Jr said he couldn't remember if Veselnitskaya provided any names related to her allegations. "I don't recall, but she may have."

Trump's Jared Kushner, who declined to be interviewed by the committee, said in a 11-page statement that he had "hardly any" contacts with Russians during the campaign and that he "did not remember" the meeting.

Following the documents' release, Trump Jr said the transcripts showed he "answered every question asked".

"The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the Committee."



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 16 2018. 20:46 IST