President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his son’s decision to arrange a meeting with a Russian lawyer who purportedly had incriminating information on Hillary Clinton as “very standard,” asserting “most people” in his son’s position would have acted the same way.
“My son is a wonderful young man,” Trump said at a press conference in Paris, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. “He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer—not a government lawyer, but a Russian lawyer.”
“I do think that from a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting,” he continued. “It’s called opposition research, opposition on your opponent.”
“Politics is not the nicest business in the world,” he added.
Trump on Don Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer: “Most people would’ve taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research.” pic.twitter.com/4RbxZaY9sy
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 13, 2017
Trump also appeared to blame former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch for setting the stage for his son’s email scandal, alleging she worked to approve a visa for the Kremlin-connected lawyer at the center of the controversy.
The remarks come on the heels of the New York Times‘ bombshell report on emails revealing the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had leapt at the chance to meet a Kremlin-linked lawyer who wanted to offer damaging information on Hillary Clinton. The emails published on Monday appear to be the first piece of hard evidence showing Trump associates were willing to work with the Russian government to win the 2016 presidential election.
Trump is in Paris for Friday’s Bastille Day celebrations.