He defended the meeting, saying it wasn't illegal
He kept swerving topics away from the meeting to Clinton's campaign
The deputy assistant to President Donald Trump said Tuesday the Trump campaign’s attempts to get compromising information on Hillary Clinton are “what political campaigns do.”
Speaking on CNN’s “New Day,” Sebastian Gorka was referencing reports that Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian lawyer who offered to provide information to aid his father’s campaign. Trump Jr. has acknowledged that he had attended the meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya in the hope that she “might have information helpful to the campaign.”
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Gorka why Trump Jr. attended the meeting, adding “they wanted the dirt.”
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“Which is what political campaigns do,” Gorka replied.
During his interview, Gorka repeatedly tried to spin away from the meeting to bring attention to Clinton’s campaign. He also argued the Russian attorney had “no connection” to the Kremlin.
“There was no connection,” he said. “She was a private lawyer who had an interest with regard to the Russian adoption program and used a pretext to get a meet with the campaign – which the campaign representatives almost immediately realized was not done in good faith. That she had another agent.
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Gorka was asked by Camerota about several people in the Trump campaign, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who didn’t initially disclose their meetings with Russians until they were confronted with reports about them.
“You heard their statements. You heard Don Jr.’s statements. He’s not even a member of the administration,” he responded. “There’s no need for private citizens to disclose his meeting in the campaign that happened months before.”
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He reiterated several times there was nothing wrong with Trump Jr. meeting with the lawyer.
“Nothing illegal, not in Don Jr.’s meeting,” he said.
CNN’s Betsy Klein and David Wright contributed to this report.