Donald Trump Jr.'s secret meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in a bid to collect dirt on Hillary Clinton during last year's presidential race is "standing operating procedure" in politics, Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
"The bottom line is a woman misrepresented herself to Donald Trump Jr. She didn't have anything to provide," Gorka told Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg.
"As soon as that became clear, the meeting was ended and there were no further contacts. So that's the end of the story . . . I don't think it has any effect on relationships between the two countries."
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Trump Jr. released emails he exchanged ahead of a meeting with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last year that said the Russian government backed his father's presidential campaign and was trying to damage his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
The information came from Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid journalist and marketing executive linked to Trump through the Miss Universe Pageant, who was brokering a meeting with Veselnitskaya.
In the past few days, a series of reports on the meeting by The New York Times and others, articles have prompted allegations Trump Jr.'s meeting suggests the Trump campaign might have colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election.
But Gorka told Malzberg the incident is being blown up by what he called the "lame-stream media" and its preponderance of "fake news."
"[They] will continue to concoct and spin," Gorka said. "But let them do it, because their viewing figures are plummeting . . . they're becoming more and more of an irrelevance.
"I think [the release of the emails] just demonstrates the utter openness of former members of the Trump campaign. Remember Donald Trump Jr. is a private citizen.
"He wasn't working for the government, isn't working for the government, and has demonstrated how utterly transparent individuals associated with the president are today. So, it's laudable, we would love to see that kind of transparency."
Gorka also took aim at Clinton.
He compared Trump Jr.'s "transparency" to what Clinton was doing with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
"She was picking up $500,000 speaking fees when she was secretary of state, and he was getting them from the Russian government," Gorka said. "So, I think we're just trying to show by example what it means to be transparent."
Since the story of Trump Jr.'s meeting broke, he has lawyered up, hiring top New York City criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas.
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