Russian lawyer who met Trump Jr. says ready to testify to Congress

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview in Moscow, Russia November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kommersant Photo/Yury Martyanov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. after his father won the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidential election has said she is ready to testify to the U.S. Congress to dispel what she called “mass hysteria” about the encounter.

President Donald Trump’s eldest son eagerly agreed in June 2016 to meet Natalia Veselnitskaya, a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic White House rival Hillary Clinton, according to emails released by Trump Jr.

Veselnitskaya has previously said she is a private lawyer, that she never obtained damaging information about Clinton, and that she has no ties with the Kremlin.

“I’m ready to clarify the situation behind this mass hysteria – but only through lawyers or testifying in the Senate,” Veselnitskaya said in an interview with Russia’s Kremlin-backed RT TV channel released late on Tuesday.

In Washington on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters she was not aware of Veselnitskaya’s offer. Feinstein said she had not yet discussed calling Veselnitskaya to testify with committee chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied allegations by U.S. intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the presidential campaign to help Trump win the White House. Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee have said they wanted to speak to everyone who attended the meeting as part of their investigation of Russia and the U.S. election.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova, additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Grant McCool