Latest: Russia denies knowledge of Donald Trump Jr's meeting with lawyer

Update 1.57pm: The Kremlin has said it is unaware of a meeting between Donald Trump's senior staff and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign.

President Donald Trump's eldest son changed his account of the meeting he had with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign over the weekend, saying on Sunday that Natalia Veselnitskaya told him she had information about Mrs Clinton.

A statement from Donald Trump Jr one day earlier made no mention of Mrs Clinton.

Asked about the reports, Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday the Kremlin does not know who the lawyer is and added that the Kremlin "cannot keep track" of every Russian lawyer and their meetings in Russia or abroad.

Earlier:

Donald Trump's eldest son has said he met a Kremlin-linked lawyer shortly after his father clinched the Republican nomination, hoping to get information helpful to the campaign, according to a New York Times report.

The article cited advisers to the White House briefed on the encounter saying that Donald Trump Jr agreed to the meeting after being promised information damaging to Hillary Clinton.

The June meeting at Trump Tower with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya involved Mr Trump Jr, his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who was then the campaign chairman.

The existence of the meeting was disclosed only recently to government officials and confirmed on Saturday by representatives of Trump Jr and Mr Kushner following a separate New York Times report.

Yesterday, Mr Trump Jr said he was asked by an acquaintance he knew from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant to have a meeting with a person he was told might have information that would be helpful to the Trump campaign. He said he was not told the name of the person before the meeting.

Mr Trump Jr said during the meeting the lawyer claimed to have information that "individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee" and supporting Mrs Clinton.

"No details or supporting information was provided or even offered," Mr Trump Jr said.

"It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information."

He said no details or supporting information was ever offered, and that his father was unaware of the meeting.

On Saturday, he had described the same gathering as a "short introductory meeting" during which the three discussed a disbanded programme that used to allow US citizens to adopt Russian children.

Russia ended the adoptions in response to American sanctions brought against the nation following the 2009 death of an imprisoned lawyer who spoke about a corruption scandal.

He said on Sunday the lawyer turned the conversation to the adoption of Russian children, and he believed that this was the "true agenda" of the meeting and that claims about having information helpful to the Trump campaign had been a pretext for the encounter.

"I interrupted and advised her that my father was not an elected official, but rather a private citizen, and that her comments and concerns were better addressed if and when he held public office," Mr Trump Jr said.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Mr Trump's legal team, said only: "The president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting."

Unlike Mr Kushner, Mr Trump Jr does not serve in the administration and is not required to disclose his foreign contacts.

The New York Times said Ms Veselnitskaya is known for her attempts to undercut the sanctions against Russian human rights abusers.

It said her clients include state-owned businesses and the son of a senior government official whose company was under investigation in the US at the time of the meeting.


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