Video: Donald Trump Jr has hired a lawyer to represent him in the investigations. (Photo: Reuters/Layne Murdoch) (ABC News)
Donald Trump's son was sent an email telling him a contact offering dirt on Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian Government effort to help his father's presidential campaign, the New York Times reported.
- New York Times reports email sent to Donald Trump Jr said Russian government was source of information damaging to Hillary Clinton
- Moscow has denied any collusion with Mr Trump's campaign
- Times says this is first confirmed meeting of Mr Trump's campaign team with a Russian national
The paper said Donald Trump Jr received the email before his meeting with Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Citing three people with knowledge of the email, the newspaper said publicist Rob Goldstone indicated in the email that the Russian Government was the source of the potentially damaging information.
The email is likely to be of high interest to investigators probing whether any of Mr Trump's associates colluded with the Russian Government to sway last year's election, the Times said.
Mr Trump Jr hired a lawyer on Monday to represent him in the Russia-related investigations as prominent Republicans voiced concern about the meeting.
"It's a very serious development," Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC of the Times report.
"It all warrants thorough investigation. Everyone who was in that meeting ought to come before our committee."
The White House responded to the latest revelations saying there was nothing inappropriate about Mr Trump Jr's meeting with the Russian.
"The only thing I see inappropriate about the meeting was the people that leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
"Don Junior took a very short meeting from which there was absolutely no follow-up."
Allegations of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia have cast a shadow over the Republican President's first months in office and sparked investigations by congressional committees and a federal special counsel, Robert Mueller, into whether Russia interfered in the election and colluded with the Trump campaign.
Moscow denies interfering and Mr Trump, who became President on January 20, says there was no collusion.
Mr Trump Jr hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas, who specialises in criminal defence and whose clients have included alleged organised crime figures, a Russian computer hacker and white-collar criminals.
"I look forward to assisting Donald Jr and, quite frankly, there is nothing to all of the media buzz about the June 9, 2016 meeting," Mr Futerfas told Reuters.
"That will be proven to be the case."
Photo: Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner also reportedly attended the meeting. (Reuters: Kevin Lamarque)
Mr Futerfas would not say when he was retained or whether he played any part in the statements Mr Trump Jr made during the weekend about the meeting at Trump Tower in New York.
Mr Trump Jr said he agreed to meet Ms Veselnitskaya after being promised damaging information about Ms Clinton.
Mr Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Mr Trump's then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also attended, the Times said.
It called the encounter the first confirmed private meeting of members of Donald Trump's inner circle with a Russian national during the campaign.
A Republican member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Susan Collins, called on Mr Trump Jr to testify before the panel.
"Our intelligence committee needs to interview him and others who attended the meeting," she said.