Members of the Trump campaign meeting with Russians in hopes of obtaining dirt on opponent Hillary Clinton is not evidence of collusion, because they did not receive the alleged dirt, according to President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani.
During an interview on NBC’sMeet the Press, Giuliani also said he was not sure that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort — all of whom were present at the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya — were aware Veselnitskaya was from Russia.
"It turned out to be a meeting about another subject and it was not pursued at all. Any meeting in regards to getting information about your opponent is something any candidate's staff would take," Giuliani said on "Meet the Press."
"The president of the United States wasn't at that meeting, he didn't know about that meeting, he found out about it after. By the time he found out about it, it was nothing. If this is their case for collusion, good luck Mueller."
"She didn’t represent the Russian government, she’s a private citizen. I don’t even know if they knew she was Russian at the time. All they had was her name," he said.
However, emails with publicist Rob Goldstone made public by Trump Jr. reveal that he was fully aware the supposed damaging information on Clinton was linked directly to the Russian government:
"This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone wrote.
Trump Jr. replied to that email: "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer."
The president’s story on the Trump Tower meeting has shifted over time, beginning with the assertion that campaign officials met with Veselnitskaya to discuss adoption.
But subsequently, Trump Jr. admitted he took the meeting because he wanted "political opposition research about Clinton." And the White House admitted the president was personally involved in drafting the initial statement.
Trump contradicted his earlier statement this month, when he tweeted that the meeting was taken “to get information on an opponent."