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

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel Schatz Advocate says Trump administration's new proposal would do 'absolutely nothing' to alleviate student debt Hillicon Valley: Huawei official asks US to ease restrictions | Facebook loses top execs | Defense officials hit Google over China | Pro-Trump 'safe space' app pulled over security flaw | Senators offer bill on facial recognition technology Senators introduce bill to regulate facial recognition technology MORE (D-Hawaii) dubbed the Trump campaign "absolutely crazy" after The New York Times reported on Saturday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification 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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech's censorship expands GOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks 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: DOE to investigate if federal regs were broken in college admissions scandal DeVos moves to allow religious groups to provide federally funded services to private schools GOP bill would limit foreign student involvement in sensitive research projects 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, who is leading the Russia investigation, is also reportedly looking into interactions between Nader and Zamel.