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Sean Spicer Said the Russia Meeting Was Just About Adoption. President Trump Said Otherwise

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White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday that the focus of a 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer was adoption policy, despite President Trump’s own tweet on the subject.

Speaking at an off-camera press briefing, the White House press secretary said that a meeting with the younger Trump, then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, among others, was only about Russian adoption policy.

“There was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for discussion about adoption,” said Spicer, referring further questions to the White House counsel.

The New York Times reported that Trump Jr. was promised compromising information on Hillary Clinton ahead of the meeting. Trump Jr. confirmed that report when he released the email chain that led to it, which showed he was promised “very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

On Monday morning, President Trump tweeted, “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!”

Spicer said the President “made it clear” through his tweet what he thought about the meeting.


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Write to Alana Abramson at Alana.Abramson@time.com