The Russian lawyer involved in the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. spoke out Tuesday, denying reports that she was a "Russian government attorney" who had "incriminating" evidence on Hillary Clinton. In an interview with the Washington Post, Natalia Veselnitskaya said the Trump Jr. email scandal is "nonsense," and asserted that it was a story made up to try to "overthrow" President Trump.
According to the Post, Veselnitskaya says she is a Russian lawyer, but does not work for the government, as has commonly been claimed. She says she is a regional prosecutor, which is not part of the Kremlin. "I do not represent the government. I am a private citizen," she told the Post.
Previous, Veselnitskaya told NBC News, "I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that." But that's not what Trump Jr. was told. Publicist Rob Goldstone, in setting up the meeting, told Trump Jr. in an email:
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
Veselnitskaya told the Post she believed the meeting was sold to Trump Jr. by Goldstone as "something very important from the Kremlin to make it look like he is a big deal." She wanted to talk about the Magnitsky Act, which puts sanctions on and denies visas to certain Russian officials. In retaliation, Russia banned some American officials and prohibited Americans from adopting Russian children.
That is what she ended up talking to Trump Jr. about. He told the New York Times she talked about the policy, and "It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information." Veselnitskaya agreed. She said in the Post interview, "We sat and talked to each other for a few minutes and it was clear we were talking about two different things."
Veselnitskaya also said she was in shock that the meeting revelation had exploded like this, and said, "You don’t know what to do with your Trump, so you are making up stories. That isn’t right. It’s not right to play with people’s lives like this." She continued:
Because someone in America really wants to overthrow their president. Overthrow him, I don’t give a damn. Who gave you the right to come up with this stuff?