CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18:  Donald Trump Jr. listens to a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
White House under siege amid email fallout
03:01 - Source: CNN

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House Speaker Paul Ryan deferred to the congressional and DOJ investigations

Donald Trump Jr. said Tuesday in retrospect he would have acted differently

CNN  — 

House Speaker Paul Ryan dodged a question Wednesday related to Donald Trump Jr.’s emails revealing details of a meeting with a Russian lawyer who purportedly offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton, but the Wisconsin Republican said, “it is absolutely unacceptable that Russia – or any other country” to “meddle in our elections. Period.”m

“We have a special counsel that is doing investigation over at the Justice Department, we have an investigation here in the House, we have an investigation in the Senate,” Ryan told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference when asked about President Donald Trump’s eldest son. “I think it is very important that these professionals and these committees do their job so we can get to the bottom of all of this.”

Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russian interference with the US election, as are at least four congressional committees.

Pressed whether he would accept a meeting with someone from a foreign government offering sensitive information about political opponents, Ryan deflected twice, saying, “look, I am not going to go into hypotheticals, only because I think it’s important that we get into the bottom of all of this.”

The speaker stressed that he supported the appointment of Mueller to serve as the special counsel and said it’s important that Muller and the congressional probes “do their jobs and follow these leads wherever they may lay, wherever they may go, and follow the facts.”

According to a GOP source who attended the weekly House Republican conference meeting, no one raised the issue of Trump Jr.’s emails or details about the meeting at Trump Tower with the Russia representatives.

Trump Jr. on Tuesday morning tweeted a series of emails between himself and Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who contacted Trump Jr. and told him about an opportunity to receive potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign. The emails led to a June 9, 2016 meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chief at the time of the meeting.

RELATED: Who is Rob Goldstone?

“In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently,” Trump Jr. told Fox News’ Sean Hannity during an interview Tuesday evening, adding that the meeting happened before Russian involvement became a major story during the campaign season.

CNN’s Eli Watkins contributed to this report.