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

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzOvernight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Democratic senators want NBC primary debate to focus on climate change Overnight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds MORE (D-Hawaii) dubbed the Trump campaign "absolutely crazy" after The New York Times reported on Saturday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' 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 TrumpTrump Jr. slams Republican committee chairman: 'Too weak to stand up to the Democrats' #TrumpTantrum spreads on Twitter after impromptu press conference Trump family members will join state visit to UK 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 DeVosThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan DeVos family of Michigan ends support for Amash The Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget 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 MuellerGraham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller MORE, who is leading the Russia investigation, is also reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel.