President Donald Trump has been in the center of controversies ever since assuming office. A fresh controversy now surrounds his son Donald Trump Jr. as he recently confirmed that he agreed to meet with a Russian lawyer who had “information” on Hillary Clinton.
However, instead of backing the president’s son and defending him, Vice President Mike Pence attempted to distance himself from the scandal and said he is not focusing on things that happened “before he joined the campaign.”
“He was not aware of the meeting. He is also not focused on stories about the campaign – especially those pertaining to the time before he joined the campaign,” said Pence spokesman Marc Lotter in a statement.
Comments from Pence’s office came just hours after Trump Jr. released the series of emails on Twitter that showed him welcoming the opportunity to meet with a Russian lawyer.
According to the email exchange between the two, the official, Natalia Veselnitskaya promised information that “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” the email added.
Jr. reportedly replied within minutes, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
The meeting reportedly took place on June 7, 2016. It was attended by brother- in-law Jared Kushner and the then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Pence was offered a ticket by Trump on July 14, 2016. This means Pence joined the “club” weeks after Jr. met with the Russian lawyer.
Ron Klain, who served as chief of staff for Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden, was surprised at the vice president’s carefully worded response.
Trump also released a statement regarding the scandal that read, “My son is a high quality person and I applaud his transparency.”