Jared Kushner reportedly left the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer early

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and top White House adviser Jared Kushner left a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Trump campaign officials after 7 to 10 minutes of the 20 to 30-minute long meeting, according to Veselnitskaya.

The meeting, which took place in Donald Trump Jr.'s offices in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, has become the subject of intense scrutiny since it was revealed that the president's eldest son was told that Veselnitskaya was a "Russian government attorney" seeking to share damaging information about Hillary Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

Veselnitskaya told NBC News that Kushner and Manafort were not introduced to her by name and she only realized who the men were after seeing their photos in the news in recent days. The lawyer, who has represented Russian state-run businesses and the son of a senior Russian government official, said that Kushner left the meeting early.

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Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
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Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective
June 7: The 2016 primary season essentially concludes, with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as the presumptive party nominees
June 9: Donald Trump Jr. — along with Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort — meets with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
June 9: Trump tweets about Clinton's missing 33,000 emails
July 18: Washington Post reports, on the first day of the GOP convention, that the Trump campaign changed the Republican platform to ensure that it didn't call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces
July 21: GOP convention concludes with Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican nomination
July 22: WikiLeaks releases stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee
July 25: Democratic convention begins
July 27: In final news conference of his 2016 campaign, Trump asks Russia: "If you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"
August 4: Obama CIA Director John Brennan confronts his Russian counterpart about Russia's interference. "[I] told him if you go down this road, it's going to have serious consequences, not only for the bilateral relationship, but for our ability to work with Russia on any issue, because it is an assault on our democracy," Brennan said on "Meet the Press" yesterday.
October 4: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange says his organization will publish emails related to the 2016 campaign
October 7: WikiLeaks begins releasing Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta's emails
October 7: Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence release a statement directly saying that Russia is interfering in the 2016 election
October 31: "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove," Trump says on the campaign trail
November 4: "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks," Trump says from Ohio.
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"I could recognize the young gentleman who was only present in the meeting for probably the first seven to 10 minutes, and then he stood up and left the room," she said. "It was Mr. Jared Kushner. And he never came back, by the way."

She added that Manafort seemed to be disengaged in the conversation, with his focus on his cell phone, and described him as "absent-minded."

"All the time he was looking at his phone. He was reading something. He never took any active part in the conversation," Veselnitskaya said. "That was Mr. Manafort."

Manafort, a longtime Republican political operative, resigned from the Trump campaign in August 2016 amid questions about his business dealings in Ukraine and his ties with Russians. He has since been under criminal investigation by the FBI.

It is unclear why Kushner left the meeting, during which Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya claim to have primarily discussed the 2012 Magnitsky Act, a US law that blacklists Russians suspected of human-rights abuses, which Veselnitskaya has aggressively lobbied to have repealed.

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Veselnitskaya told NBC News earlier this week that Trump Jr. asked her whether she had any "financial records which might prove that the funds used to sponsor the DNC were coming from inappropriate sources." The lawyer denies ever having incriminating information about Clinton, who was then set to become the Democratic presidential nominee.

Trump Jr. said in a statement on Tuesday that the promise of damaging information was likely a "pretext" for setting up the meeting in order to discuss US sanctions on Russia.

As part of a wide-ranging inquiry into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia, Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating Kushner's communications with the head of a major Russian state-owned bank, Sergey Gorkov, who is a close confidant of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and with Russia's ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, as well as his role in the Trump campaign and relationship with former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

In May, The Washington Post reported that Kushner and Kislyak may have discussed establishing a secret communications backchannel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government.

Reuters also reported in May that the FBI is examining whether Gorkov suggested to Kushner that Russian banks could finance Trump associates' business ventures if US sanctions were eased.

Sonam Sheth contributed reporting.

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