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

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' State probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws MORE (D-Hawaii) dubbed the Trump campaign "absolutely crazy" after The New York Times reported on Saturday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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 TrumpDemocrats introduce bill to block taxpayer-funded spending at Trump properties Trump dismisses NYT explanation on Kavanaugh correction The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico 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 DeVosTrump awards Medal of Valor, civilian honors to responders in Dayton and El Paso shootings Trump administration fines Michigan State University .5M in Larry Nassar case Government watchdog finds expanded student loan forgiveness program still rejecting most applicants 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 MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE, who is leading the Russia investigation, is also reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel.