First Coast Connect: Reported Jacksonville Connection to Trump Jr.’s Russia Meeting

Jul 18, 2017

Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya is in the front row to hear a 2016 House Foreign Affairs Committee discussion on “U.S. Policy Towards Putin’s Russia.”
Credit Wikileaks

As ABC News reported over the weekend, President Donald Trump’s former Florida campaign chair, Susie Wiles, is connected to a controversial meeting between Trump’s son and a Russian lawyer last summer.

Lanny Wiles is said to have reserved a seat for the Russian lawyer at the House Foreign Affairs Committee last June. Wiles said he saved the seat for Natalia Veselnitskaya to hear a discussion on “U.S. Policy Towards Putin’s Russia.”

ABC News reported the Russian attorney had met with Donald Trump Jr. eight days prior to disclose information against the Clinton campaign, according to emails between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya.

On “First Coast Connect” Monday, University of North Florida political science Professor Matt Corrigan said, “The question really is not their interest in Washington that lobbies for Russians, what would be unusual would be the campaign connection.”

Wiles told ABC News he has “absolute, zero connection” to Veselnitskaya. Susie Wiles told WJCT her husband has done nothing illegal, and she was unaware of his actions.

In an interview with ABC, Susie Wiles called her work with the Trump campaign at the same time “an unfortunate coincidence.”

Corrigan said, “To get to the idea of criminality that’s a different question, but clearly the meeting was inappropriate.”