Trump defends son again during Paris visit: 'Most people would have taken that meeting'

The president is in France to celebrate Bastille Day.

ByABC News
July 13, 2017, 1:28 PM

— -- President Trump defended his son Donald Trump Jr. again for the controversial meeting he held with a Russian attorney during the campaign season last year, calling him a "great young man" and saying that "most people would have taken that meeting."

Trump Jr. has drawn fire for the meeting, as well as an email chain in which he was offered damaging information from a Russian government source about his father's campaign rival, Hillary Clinton. In response, Trump Jr. wrote, "I love it," but recently said that nothing came out of the meeting. He also denied the lawyer worked for the Russian government.

"As far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer — not a government lawyer but a Russian lawyer. It was a short meeting. It was a meeting that went very, very quickly. Very fast," Trump Sr. said, responding to a question from ABC News' Cecilia Vega during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

"I think, from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. It's called opposition research or even research into your opponent," Trump said.

Before that, Trump and Macron spent much of the press conference talking about their mutual respect. Trump is in France to commemorate Bastille Day, the country's national holiday, on July 14, and the U.S. engagement alongside French troops during World War I.

Trump today praised the "very good" and "long" relationship between the U.S. and France.

French President Emmanuel Macron walks with President Donald J. Trump as they leave Les Invalides museum in Paris, July 13, 2017. President Donald Trump is on a two-day visit in Paris.
Ian Langsdon/Pool via EPA

"France is America's first and oldest ally. A lot of people don't know that," Trump said.

"Ever since Gen. Lafayette joined the American fight for independence, our fates and fortunes have been tied unequivocally together. It was a long time ago, but we are together. And I think together perhaps more so than ever. The relationship is very good," he said.

The Trumps and the Macrons visited Les Invalides, the site of Napoleon's tomb and a military museum.

The world leaders then had a meeting before their news conference.

President Donald Trump, his wife Melania attend a welcoming ceremony in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, July 13, 2017.
Yves Herman/Pool via AP

During his remarks, Macron touched on a number of topics that the pair discussed, including their shared interests relating to Iraq and Syria as well as fair trade. He acknowledged the different stances that the two leaders take regarding climate change but said they were still able to discuss the issue.

"We have expressed them on a number of occasions, but I think it is important that we can continue to talk about it. I very much respect the decision taken by President Trump," Macron said, according to a translation of his remarks, which were in French.

Macron later said that they have spoken about Trump's views against the Paris Climate Accord but added that their disagreement should not affect other subject areas.

Trump said, "I mean, something could happen with respect to the Paris Accord. We'll see what happens. But we will talk about that over the coming period of time. And if it happens, that will be wonderful, and if it doesn't, that will be OK too."

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