11/07/2017 6:23 AM AEST | Updated 11/07/2017 9:36 AM AEST

White House: Only Thing Inappropriate About Trump Jr. Meeting Russians Was Leaks

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 election, saying the only thing “inappropriate” about the encounter was that details leaked to the press.

“The only thing I see inappropriate about the meeting was the people that leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed,“ Huckabee Sanders said during an off-camera White House press briefing on Monday.

Trump Jr. met with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after he was told she may have had damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, The New York Times reported Sunday. President Donald Trump’s then-campaign-chairman Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended the meeting.

Trump’s allies have defended Trump Jr. since news of the meeting broke Sunday, arguing lots of campaign staffers have held similar meetings in the past.

Reuters reported Monday that Trump Jr. had hired attorney Alan Futerfas to represent him in connection with Russia-related investigations.