Trump Jr. to testify privately to US Senate committee on Thursday: aides

Trump campaign urges court to toss out WikiLeaks hack lawsuit

U.S. President Donald Trump's eldest son told Senate investigators on Thursday that he had set up a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer because she might have had damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump Jr agreed to the Senate interview after the committee chairman, Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, subpoenaed him and Mr Manafort.

Multiple congressional committees and special counsel Robert Mueller are tightening their focus on some of President Donald Trump's family members and campaign associates as probes into Russia's election-meddling enter a new and more aggressive phase.

Democrats have pointed to the Trump Tower meeting to argue collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.

The primary focus of the interview Thursday will nearly certainly center on the meeting Trump Jr. took with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after his father secured the Republican nomination for president.

According to a January report from the US intelligence community, the highest levels of the Russian government were involved in directing electoral interference to boost Mr. Trump at the expense of Mrs. Clinton.

Trump Jr. said he proceeded to "quickly and politely end the meeting".

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"I did not collude with any foreign government and do not know of anyone who did", he said. Emails released in July show that Trump Jr. was told before the meeting that it was part of a Russian government effort to help his father.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" he wants to know more, adding that it is "equally important" to learn what happened afterward. Trump Jr. denied gaining any information about Clinton from the meeting. Allegations that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation in an effort to claim the White House plagued the young administration. Trump has repeatedly denied having any dealings with Russian Federation, but emails between a business associate and one of his lawyers showed that his company was pursuing a Trump Tower in Moscow while he was running for president.

His brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, told the Senate Intelligence Committee something similar when he met with its members during a closed hearing earlier this summer.

"This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin", Goldstone wrote. I had no way to gauge the reliability, credibility or accuracy of any of the things he was saying.

Goldstone had asked Trump Jr.to take the meeting saying it would include potentially damaging information about Clinton. "The meeting provided no meaningful information and turned out not to be about what had been represented".

Separately, Susan Rice, who was national security adviser for former President Barack Obama, testified on Tuesday before the House Intelligence Committee for about four hours.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, said the senators want to speak with others who attended the June meeting before interviewing Trump Jr.

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