White House says Trump 'weighed in' on son's Russia statement

President Trump is said to have "offered suggestion like any father would do"

White House says Trump 'weighed in' on son's Russia statement

File photo of Donald Trump. Picture by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/Press Association Images

The White House has said Donald Trump weighed in on the statement by his son over his Russia meeting like "any father would".

In the statement, Donald Trump Jr denied a meeting held with a Russian lawyer was related to the 2016 presidential campaign.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary, told a news conference on Tuesday: "He certainly didn't dictate (the statement), but... he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do.

"The statement that was issued was true and there were no inaccuracies in the statement."

Emails released by Mr Trump Jr showed that the subject of the meeting was the possibility of obtaining damaging information on Hillary Clinton, apparently contradicting his statement.

On Monday, the Washington Post reported that advisers to the US President discussed the statement about the meeting and agreed Mr Trump Jr should issue a truthful account so that it "couldn't be repudiated later if the full details emerged".

But Mr Trump, who was flying home from Germany on 8 July, changed the plan and "personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr said he and the Russian lawyer had 'primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children'," the newspaper said.

Sanctions bill

Ms Huckabee Sanders, meanwhile, confirmed that President Trump has not yet signed a bill which would impose new sanctions on Russia.

She said: "There's a review process, a legal process," before adding that "he will (sign it)".

On Friday, a White House statement said Mr Trump "has now reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it".

The bill, which involves stiff financial sanctions on Russia, passed Congress with overwhelming support.

Moscow responded at the weekend by ordering a reduction in the number of US diplomats in Russia.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said neither he nor President Trump are "very happy" about the new sanctions, which he said showed that Americans were frustrated with Russia.

He added that relations with Russia more than six months into Mr Trump's term as president had gotten worse.