WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump’s team continues to struggle with its response to a June 2016 meeting where Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya who promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton that was supposed to have come directly from the Russian government.
Over the weekend, the President’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, said Trump Jr. broke no laws by attending the meeting.
Also in attendance at the meeting was Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, publicist Rob Goldstone – who helped arrange the meeting, and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin.
Born in the former Soviet Union, Akhmetshin served in its military and has suspected ties to Russian intelligence.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA, who vice chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said they would very much like to talk with those involved.
“At first there were indications that there were just four people, it was actually many more people. We don’t know what transpired in that meeting until we get a chance to talk to all of the individuals who participated,” said Warner.
The senator also took aim at Kushner who has amended his security clearance paperwork to include contacts with Russians.
“It does seem strange to me that he didn’t forget once, not twice, but three separate meetings with senior-level Russian officials,” said Warner.
Sekulow insists that the President had no knowledge of the meeting and pointed the finger at the Secret Service.
“If this was nefarious, why did the Secret Service allowed these people in. The President had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me,” said Sekulow.
The Secret Service downplayed the claim that no one was screened at the meeting because Trump Jr. was not under protection at the time.
On Monday morning, President Trump reiterated his view on the Russia scandal on Twitter.
Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That’s politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2017
The President did get some good news over the weekend from a Washington Post/ABC News poll which found more Americans agree with his handling of the economy than disagree. However, 48-percent said they “disapprove strongly” of his overall performance, a level never reached by his two predecessors.