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Publicist set up Donald Trump Jr., lawyer meeting

in 2017/Top Headlines by

The Latest on the probes into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

A music publicist says he set up a meeting between a Russian lawyer and Donald Trump’s eldest son on behalf of a client in Moscow named Emin Agalarov.

In a statement to The Associated Press Monday, Rob Goldstone says the lawyer said she had information about purported illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee that she thought Donald Trump Jr. might find helpful.

Goldstone says Trump Jr. agreed to squeeze the meeting into a tight schedule.

Trump appeared in a music video with Agalarov in 2013. The video was filmed while Trump was in Russia for the Miss Universe pageant.

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11:40 a.m.

A senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence committee says the panel should interview President Donald Trump’s eldest son about a meeting he and other Trump associates had last year with a Russian lawyer to hear information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters Monday that “our intelligence committee needs to interview him and others who attended the meeting” as part of the panel’s probe into Russian interference in last year’s election and possible collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort accompanied Donald Trump Jr. to the Trump Tower meeting with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Donald Trump Jr. said he was told the person he was to meet with might have information that would be “helpful” to the Trump campaign.

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11 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s eldest son is appearing to acknowledge that he took a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign to hear information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Jr. says on Twitter that the meeting “went nowhere but had to listen.” He also downplayed the Trump Tower meeting, noting in a tongue-in-cheek fashion that it’s common for members of campaigns to seek damaging information about opposing candidates.

Trump Jr.’s tweet is the latest shift in his explanation of the meeting first reported by The New York Times. Trump Jr. initially said the meeting focused on a disbanded Russian adoption program. A day later, he acknowledged he took the meeting because he was told the attorney might have information “helpful” to the Trump campaign.

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7:55 a.m.

The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Kremlin is unaware of a meeting between Donald Trump’s senior staff and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign where the Russian reportedly said she had information about Hillary Clinton.

President Donald Trump’s eldest son changed his account of the meeting he had with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign over the weekend, saying Sunday that Natalia Veselnitskaya told him she had information about Clinton. A statement from Donald Trump Jr. one day earlier made no mention of Clinton.

Asked about the reports, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday the Kremlin does not know who the lawyer is and added that the Kremlin “cannot keep track” of every Russian lawyer and their meetings in Russia or abroad.

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4:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s eldest son changed his account over the weekend of a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, saying Sunday that the woman told him she had information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.

A statement from Donald Trump Jr. one day earlier made no mention of Clinton. In his initial depiction of the meeting last June, the president’s son said the discussion focused on a disbanded program that used to allow American adoptions of Russian children.

It appears that Trump Jr. shifted his account of the meeting after being presented with additional information from The New York Times, which first reported both the discussion and the prospect of negative information about Clinton.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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