Sean Spicer contradicts Trump's own tweet, insisting Don Jr. meeting was about adoptions



White House press secretary Sean Spicer contradicted a tweet on Monday from President Donald Trump and said "there was nothing" that would cause anyone to think that the controversial meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer had to do with anything other than adoptions.

"Look, you know I'm not going to get into the specifics of this," Spicer said at Monday's off-camera press briefing. "But I will say that it is quite often for people who are given information during the heat of a campaign to ask what that is. That's what simply he did. The President has made it clear through this tweet. And there was nothing, as far as we know, that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for a discussion about adoption and the Magnitsky Act."

Hours earlier, Trump tweeted that most politicians would've gone to such a meeting to collect opposition research, which is what Trump Jr. admitted the meeting was supposed to be about.

"Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don Jr. attended in order to get info on an opponent," Trump tweeted. "That's politics!"

Trump has admitted previously that Trump Jr. took the meeting with the full expectation that the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, would provide him with damaging information on soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr. himself last week released his email exchange with Rob Goldstone, the British music publicist who helped arrange the meeting attended by Trump Jr., Veselnitskaya, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump's son-in-law and current White House adviser Jared Kushner. The emails showed that Trump Jr. was made aware the information was coming from the Russian government.

RELATED: More on the email exchange

21 PHOTOS
Politicians, pundits sound off on Donald Trump Jr.'s emails
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Politicians, pundits sound off on Donald Trump Jr.'s emails
If this isn't treasonous, I'm not sure what is. https://t.co/QrBaaf4psM
Is this Hillary Collusion?? https://t.co/JMX4kqIbt7
Quick reminder: something doesn't have to be illegal for it to be foolish, wrong and un-American. @DonaldJTrumpJr https://t.co/nnWxmryCKV
.@LindseyGrahamSC on CNN: I know Don Jr and Jared Kushner are new to politics but this is going to require a lot of questions to be answered
.@realDonaldTrump’s son & aides met w/ Russian agent to influence our election. That is a fact.… https://t.co/Enf0NK8AGj
.@MerriamWebster definition of #collusion: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful p… https://t.co/Rqo26PD5Xw
Liberal media in a frenzy because Donald Trump Jr released all his emails. Should've just deleted them. We know that's fine with them!
What seems interesting: Email tells Trump Jr. the effort is part of Russia government's efforts to help Trump. He doesn't ask questions.
"On its face, this email chain is proof of a willingness expressed by @DonaldJTrumpJr to collude with Russia" --@JakeTapper on @CNN
So...this is it right?
I consider my friend @DonaldJTrumpJr a honorable man in every sense of the word . 🇺🇸✌️
Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman says Trump Jr. emails are "almost a smoking cannon." Told me "there's no question this is treason."
.@matthewamiller: I don't know how anyone can come out and defend what is in these emails, whether republican or democrat #AMR
Graham: Trump Jr. "definitely has to testify" https://t.co/SzwEwq9LLE
Sen. Hatch says the Don Jr. emails are not "relevant" and "all this stuff about Trump's sons and daughter -- it's a bunch of bunk."
Statement from @VPPressSec on Donald Trump Jr meeting and @VP's knowledge https://t.co/iYiyoWfHRx
There's NO way Don Jr, Jared & Paul Manafort met w/ the Russian Gov't operative without advising Donald Trump in advance. HE'S GUILTY, TOO!
Tapper: "This can't be dismissed as people out to get Donald J. Trump Jr. or fake news. This is evidence of willing… https://t.co/oSaRNQBtLb
So, I just talked to Mark Warner: https://t.co/eXm4ECI3OW
Sen @ChrisMurphyCT on Don Jr: "For a long time we saw a lot of smoke but no fire, you're seeing the fire today."
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Goldstone said in his emails to Trump Jr. that Veselnitskaya was a "Russian government attorney" who wanted to share some information about Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." Goldstone wrote that the Russians "offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."

To that, Trump Jr. responded, "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer."

Trump Jr. said the damaging information never materialized, and that the meeting, which he said lasted 20 or 30 minutes, quickly veered into discussion of the Magnitsky Act, a US law that blacklists Russians accused of human-rights abuses. The law so enraged Russian President Vladimir Putin that he retaliated by barring US citizens from adopting Russian children.

But later last week, additional sources came forward and admitted they too were in on the meeting. One, Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who served in the Soviet military, told The Associated Press on Friday that Veselnitskaya presented documents to the Trump representatives who attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that she believed detailed the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee.

In Akhmetshin's recounting, Veselnitskaya suggested to those in the meeting that they make the contents of the documents public. She said that doing so could help Trump's campaign, Akhmetshin said.

"This could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money," he recalled her saying.

Akhmetshin said Trump Jr. then asked whether she had evidence to back up the assertion, to which Veselnitskaya said the campaign would have to do more research on the subject. That's when Trump Jr. lost interest, Akhmetshin said.

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