PARIS (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump defended his son’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, saying he thinks “It’s a meeting most people in politics would have taken.”
Trump is in Paris Thursday, where he held a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
“My son is a wonderful young man, he took a meeting with a Russian lawyer it was a short meeting it was a meeting that went quickly, very fast,” Trump said. “I do think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research.”
In an email chain from 2016 released Tuesday, Trump Jr. seemed receptive to receiving damaging information from the Russian government about Hillary Clinton. He released a statement in which he denied any wrongdoing.
Trump Jr. later said he did not tell his father about the meeting with the Russian attorney because it was “such a nothing.”
The president on Thursday also said “nothing happened” from the meeting.
“Don, he listened. I guess they talked about, as I see it, they talked about adoption and some things,” Trump said. “But nothing happened from the meeting, zero happened from the meeting and honestly I think the press made a very big deal over something that really a lot of people would do.”
Back in Washington, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Chuck Grassley says he’s sending a letter to Donald Trump Jr. to ask him to testify, adding he’d subpoena the president’s son if necessary.
The panel is investigating Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
Meanwhile, the two presidents also addressed the Paris Climate Accord Thursday, with Trump saying “we’ll see what happens.”
“Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord,” Trump said. “We’ll talk about that over the coming period of time. If it happens, that will be wonderful. If it doesn’t, that will be OK too.”
The president announced last month that the United States would be pulling out of the agreement. Acknowledging his differences with Trump over the issue, Macron said the two still share “major common goals.”
Trump also called France “America’s first and oldest ally” and said “our fates and fortunes have been tied unequivocally together.”
“Our two nations are forever joined together by the spirit of revolution and the fight for freedom,” he said.
The two presidents held talks at the Elysee Palace earlier Thursday after touring the nearby Les Invalides monument, where Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb is located.
They will later have dinner together at the Eiffel Tower.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)