— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 11, 2017
The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. denied having any dirt on Hillary Clinton — or ties to the Kremlin — in a new interview Tuesday.
“I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that,” Natalia Veselnitskaya told NBC News.
Veselnitskaya said she met with the president’s eldest son in June 2016 to discuss the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which allowed the US to impose sanctions on Russian officials over human rights violations.
In retaliation to the act, Russia banned Americans from adopting Russian children — a move that soured the relationship between Moscow and Washington.
Trump Jr. was told by a middle man ahead of the meeting that Veselnitskaya had potentially damaging information on his dad’s opponent — and that it was part of the Kremlin’s effort to help the Trump campaign, the New York Times reported Monday night.
But the lawyer denied that she had — or promised — any intel.
“It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such an information,” Veselnitskaya said. “They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted.”
Trump Jr. has said Veselnitskaya offered intel on Clinton but that it “became clear that she had no meaningful information.”
Instead, he claimed, Veselnitskaya — who’s built a career advocating for the Russian government — pushed the country’s adoption policy during their conversation.
Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his son-in-law-turned-advisor Jared Kushner also attended the meeting, Veselnitskaya confirmed.
Veselnitskaya added that she’s having a hard time adjusting to being thrust into the spotlight.
“Imagine yourself in my shoes. One morning you wake up and all of a sudden you are the focus of all the high ranking, upstream media of the world,” she said. “To summarize, those were not the happiest days of my life, I have to say. I have to break up my holiday. I have to take a trip back to Moscow because I just wanted to be able to answer the questions myself.”
SOURCE: New York Post – Lia Eustachewich