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VP Pence distances himself as Russia probe threatens Trump

AFP  |  Washington 

US Vice President Mike Pence sought today to distance himself from the snowballing scandal over possible collusion with Russian interference that increasingly threatens President Donald Trump.

After Trump's son Donald Jr. Admitted to meeting a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Democratic rival last June, Pence declared in a statement that he knew nothing of the meeting -- which took place well before he became Trump's running mate in the

"The vice president is working every day to advance the president's agenda, which is what the American people sent us here to do," his office said in a statement.

"The vice president was not aware of the meeting. He is not focused on stories about the campaign, particularly stories about the time before he joined the ticket."

Earlier today Trump Jr. Released emails showing he had arranged to meet with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya over her offer of "incriminating" material on ostensibly sourced from the Russian government. Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended the meeting.

Trump Jr. Said Veselnitskaya ultimately had "no meaningful" information on and instead wanted to talk about US sanctions on He labelled it a "nonsense meeting."

But critics say the meeting suggests the Trump campaign was prepared to collude with Russian efforts, not clearly understood at the time, to undermine Clinton's run for president.

The meeting took place on June 9, five weeks before Pence was officially chosen as Trump's vice presidential running mate.

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

First Published: Wed, July 12 2017. 02:02 IST