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Lavrov shocked at US media claims against Trump’s son over talks with Russian lawyer

July 12, 16:22 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

Lavrov said he was shocked to learn about the accusations against Russian defense attorney Natalya Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr, the US president’s eldest son, over communication between them

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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

BRUSSELS, July 12. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference following talks with his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders on Wednesday that he was shocked to learn about the accusations against Russian defense attorney Natalya Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr, the US president’s eldest son, over communication between them.

"I was amazed when I found out that Trump’s son is being accused of communicating with her," the minister said. "For me this is mind-boggling, if truth be told. When somebody talks to an attorney, how can this pose a threat to anyone?"

Russia’s top diplomat noted that he had learned about the meeting from news reports. "This morning, when I turned on the TV, all the Western TV channels were discussing that," he said. "It is amazing how serious people can blow things out of proportion."

"We have not seen a single hard fact [confirming this]," Lavrov emphasized. "If journalists are ready to work only on the basis of unsubstantiated statements and are not prepared to take into account the fact that there is no hard evidence, then I can’t do anything. Thus, this is the sort of profession, which relies on such approaches given today’s environment."

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump Jr had a meeting with Veselnitsksya who is allegedly linked to the Russian authorities in New York in June 2016. According to the report, the incumbent president’s son agreed to meet with her, as he was promised compromising information on Trump’s chief rival, the then Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

Trump and senior officials in his administration have rejected numerous rumors about any improper contacts with Russia on many occasions. They expressed the conviction that all efforts in this regard are politicized and aimed at delegitimizing the US executive branch. Moscow has likewise denied the allegations that Russia attempted to meddle in the US election campaign.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that the Kremlin is not familiar with attorney Natalya Veselnitskaya.

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