The Trump administration is continuing to face criticism and scrutiny over revelations Trump’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., embraced an apparent effort by the Russian government to peddle information incriminating Hillary Clinton in an attempt to help Trump win the presidency. Over the weekend, new information surfaced showing as many as eight people were in the room during Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Among them were Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, a Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin, publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting, at least one translator and a representative for the Russian family who asked for the meeting.
On Sunday, President Trump’s lawyer attempted to blame the Secret Service for allowing the participants into Trump Tower for the meeting—causing the Secret Service to issue a rare statement saying Donald Trump Jr. was not under Secret Service protection at the time, and “Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time.”
Top Democrats continue to call the meeting evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. This is California Democratic Congressmember Adam Schiff, speaking to Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Rep. Adam Schiff: “Well, you know, it’s certainly tied in the sense that this is about as clear evidence you could find of intent by the campaign to collude with the Russians, to get useful information from the Russians.”
Jonathan Karl: “A willingness to accept, we see from the president’s son, but we don’t see anything”—
Rep. Adam Schiff: “More than that, though, a willingness not only to accept, but to indicate to Russia what the best timing was.”
The Trump administration also faced criticism from Fox News host Shepard Smith on Friday over Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting.
Shepard Smith: “If there’s nothing there, and that’s what they tell us—they tell us, ’There’s nothing to this, that nothing came of it. There’s a nothing burger. It wasn’t even memorable. Didn’t write it down, didn’t tell you about it, because it wasn’t anything, so I didn’t even remember it,’ with a Russian interpreter in the room at Trump Tower. If all of that, why all these lies? Why is it lie after lie after lie?”
On Sunday, President Trump attacked the media and Hillary Clinton, and defended his son, writing, “HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News media?” and “With all of its phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #Fake News is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country.”