BY BBC NEWS/JOHN WERU,11TH JULY 2017-Donald Trump Jr was told that material on Hillary Clinton offered by a Russian lawyer was part of Moscow’s effort to help his father’s election campaign, the New York Times has said.
Publicist Rob Goldstone, who arranged the June 2016 meeting with the lawyer, stated this in an email, it reported.
But the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, told NBC on Tuesday she never had any sensitive information on Mrs Clinton.
US officials are investigating alleged Russian meddling in the US election.
Separately on Tuesday, Russian officials said Moscow was ready to expel 30 US diplomats and seize US state property in retaliation for sanctions imposed by Barack Obama over Russian hacking of Democratic Party computers.
What is in the latest New York Times article?
The paper reports that three people with knowledge of the Goldstone email said it indicated the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information on Mrs Clinton.
But the paper says there was no mention in the email of any wider effort by the Russian government to interfere in the election, nor was there any indication of a link to the hacking attack on the Democratic Party that was first reported a week after the meeting.
Mr Goldstone has previously denied any knowledge of involvement by the Russian government.
Rob Goldstone: The man behind the meeting
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC that the New York Times report was “a very serious development”.
“It all warrants thorough investigation. Everyone who was in that meeting ought to come before our committee.”
Mr Trump Jr’s statement on the matter on Sunday did not indicate he had been told of any Russian government involvement.
Lawyer Alan Futerfas, hired by Mr Trump Jr to represent him in the Russia-related investigations, described reports of the meeting as “much ado about nothing” and said his client had done nothing wrong.
The president’s son said he was “happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know”.
What has Natalia Veselnitskaya said now?
She was interviewed on NBC on Tuesday, saying that she “never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that”.
She said the meeting was set up by a man she did not know who told her by telephone to go to Trump Tower.
When asked why Mr Trump Jr seemed to believe she had information about Mrs Clinton, she said: “It is quite possible that maybe they were longing for such information. They wanted it so badly that they could only hear the thought that they wanted.”
Ms Veselnitskaya also denied ever having worked for the Russian government.
When was the meeting and how did it come to light?
It took place on 9 June 2016 at New York’s Trump Tower, just two weeks after Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination.
It is thought to be the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of President Trump’s inner circle.
The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign head, Paul J Manafort, also attended the meeting with Ms Veselnitskaya.
After the New York Times first reported the meeting on Saturday, Mr Trump Jr released a statement which confirmed that it had taken place but did not mention whether it was related to the presidential campaign.