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DC Daily: President Trump defends son over email 'witch hunt'

Posted: 7:06 AM, Jul 12, 2017
Updated: 2017-07-12 18:13:11Z

What's happening in the political world:

President defends son, calls controversy "witch hunt"
-- President Trump praised his son Donald Trump Jr. for being "open" and called him "innocent" after emails that highlighted a meeting with a Russian lawyer were released. On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted:

Trump Jr. posted the emails on his Twitter account Tuesday, and the conversation chain included music publicist Rob Goldstone and made mention of damaging information on presidential campaign opponent Hillary Clinton.

When told that the Russian government had information on Clinton and her dealings with Russia, Trump Jr. responded, "I love it."

Meanwhile, President Trump's personal attorney said the president did not see the emails prior to Trump Jr. releasing them publicly .

In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper late Tuesday night, Jay Sekulow said that Trump had not been aware of a meeting his top campaign officials had with a Russian lawyer last year until "very recently," as the story emerged from The New York Times over the weekend.

"The President, by the way, never saw an email -- did not see the email -- until it was seen today," Sekulow said. "So I want to be clear on that," he added.


Russian lawyer: Trump aides wanted info "so badly"
-- Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. last year, told NBC the president's son and others at the meeting wanted damaging information on Hillary Clinton "so badly."

Veselnitskaya was asked specifically how the Trump aides that attended the meeting -- including the president's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort -- had gotten the impression that she had potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

"It's quite possible that maybe they were looking for such information, they wanted it so badly," Veselnitskaya said through a translator to NBC.

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DNC denies working with Ukrainian government
-- Multiple Democratic National Committee officials, former Clinton campaign officials and Democratic sources denied that the Democratic committee or Clinton campaign worked with the government of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Donald Trump and his top aides.

But multiple Democratic sources said that a DNC contractor, whose work included organizing political events for Ukranian-Americans, did tell DNC operatives that Ukrainian officials would be willing to deliver damaging information on Trump's campaign and, most notably, Paul Manafort, his then-campaign head who has previously advised Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian President who has close ties to Moscow.

"These allegations are false. Period," said Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee.

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CNN contributed to this report