Trump Defends Son’s ‘Opposition Research’ Meeting With Russian Lawyer

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — President Donald Trump is standing by his son as Donald Trump, Jr. faces questions of colluding with the Russians during the U.S. presidential election.

In Paris for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump defending his son’s decision to meet with a Russian lawyer who promised to deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“Most people would have taken that meeting. It’s called ‘opposition research’ or even research into your opponent,” said Pres. Trump. “And honestly, I think the press made a very big deal out of something that really a lot of people would do.”

On Tuesday, Donald Trump, Jr. released an email exchange with a music publicist who coordinated the meeting. One of the emails revealed the supposed compromising material on Clinton came directly from the Russian government to help his father win the election.

President Trump insists Russia wanted Clinton, not him, to win the election.

CBS News, however, has confirmed intelligence sources intercepted Russian officials talking about how to influence the election as far back as 2015. Then, last spring, they began discussing how to help Trump win.

Not only is the president’s oldest child in the cross hairs, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, is also being looked at for possibly coordinating with Russia.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as well as the intelligence committees in both the House and Senate, are investigating whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation coordinated with Russians to target voters with fake news stories on Facebook and Twitter.

“If there was any kind of coordination on the timing, the pushing of either negative stories or false stories by Russian social media trolls, that’s something we need to know,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

Kushner oversaw the Trump campaign’s digital team.

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