US President Donald Trump has hit back at criticism surrounding revelations his son attended a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer to discuss information on Hillary Clinton.
Trump called his son a "high quality person" and applauded "his transparency", in a statement released through his deputy press secretary.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders read the statement in a White House press briefing on Tuesday (11 July) with Trump Jr. having earlier posted an email exchange between him and publicist Rob Goldstone to Twitter seemingly after learning that the New York Times had accessed them.
In the emails, Trump Jr. is told that he will be meeting with a "Russian government attorney" and that there was "information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father".
In a statement released along with the email chain, Trump Jr. said he was posting the messages "in order to be totally transparent" and added: "to put this in context, this occured before the current Russian fever was in vogue".
The emails come as part of the ongoing investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign team colluded with Russian government officials to help get the Republican candidate elected.
US Intelligence agencies have previously said that they had concluded that Russia did attempt to influence the election in Trump's favour and that it had been ordered from the Kremlin's highest levels.
In the email exchanges, Trump Jr. seems excited by the information, saying "if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer".
As the story of the meeting unfolded, Trump Jr. explanation unfolded too. First, he said that the meeting was a "short introductory meeting" focused on ended the Russian ban on adoptions in the country by Americans. He later acknowledged the meeting was about information about Clinton.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a democrat from Rhode Island, said: "I have no doubt that Special Counsel Mueller will get to the bottom of any violations of criminal law, but Congress has a duty to understand who knew what when regarding the Russian government's campaign to help get Donald Trump elected." Whitehouse is the ranking member of the senate judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism.