Democratic senator: Trump Jr. meeting with Gulf emissary 'absolutely crazy'

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzCongress should lift the ban on medical cannabis access for military veterans Booker introduces bill banning facial recognition tech in public housing Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Hawaii) dubbed the Trump campaign "absolutely crazy" after The New York Times reported on Saturday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE's eldest son met with a Gulf emissary in 2016 who offered to help the real estate mogul win the presidency.

"To be fair this is pretty standard for a Presidential campaign," Schatz tweeted, referencing a Vox article about the Times's reporting. "I’m kidding. It’s absolutely crazy."

The tweet came hours after the Times reported that Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpKhizr Khan: Trump family 'has no idea what service and sacrifice is' Hillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Facebook, YouTube to remove 'any and all' mention of potential whistleblower's name MORE met in August 2016 with Joel Zamel, an Israeli political strategist specializing in social media manipulation, and George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and a self-styled emissary to the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

During that meeting, held at Trump Tower, Nader reportedly told Trump Jr. that the crown princes wanted to help his father win the presidential election. Zamel, meanwhile, boasted about his company's ability to boost the Trump campaign on social media.


The meeting was reportedly arranged by Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater and brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDeVos forgives 1,500 student loans amid federal lawsuit Warren campaign launches 'a calculator for the billionaires' after Gates criticism Education Department finalizes new regulations to relax college-accreditation requirements MORE. A lawyer for Trump Jr. told the Times that the president's son did meet with Prince, Nader "and another individual who may be Joel Zamel."

"They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing strategy. He was not interested and that was the end of it," the lawyer, Alan Futerfas, said. 

Investigators have been looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia since the U.S. intelligence community determined that Moscow had sought to help the real estate mogul win the 2016 presidential election. 

But the Times report suggests that Russia may not have been the only country seeking to install President Trump in the White House.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE, who is leading the Russia investigation, is also reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel.