'weighed in' on son's Russia attorney statement: White House

FILE PHOTO: Then U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump welcomes his son Don Jr. to the stage in Manchester

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FILE PHOTO: Then U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald (R) welcomes his son Donald Jr. to the stage at one of the New England Council's "Politics and Eggs' breakfasts in Manchester, New Hampshire November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday that U.S. President Donald had a role in producing a statement in which his son denied that a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer was related to the 2016 presidential campaign, comments later shown to be misleading.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a briefing that "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," Sanders said, even though emails later released by Donald Jr. showed that the subject of the meeting was to be possible damaging information about Republican 's rival for the presidency, Democrat .

The Washington Post reported on Monday that 's advisers discussed the statement about the meeting and agreed that Jr. should issue a truthful account of the episode so that it "couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged."

But the president, who was flying home from Germany on July 8, changed the plan and "personally dictated a statement in which Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had 'primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children,'" the Post said, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the deliberations.

Jr. released emails in July that showed he eagerly agreed last year to meet a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Clinton as part of Moscow's official support for his father. The New York Times was first to report the meeting at Tower in New York.

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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