Donald Trump Jr. met with Kremlin supporters before the election to discuss the war in Syria

Donald Trump Jr.
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The president-elect's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with Russian supporters in Paris last month to discuss how to end the war in Syria, people who took part in the talks told The Wall Street Journal. The talks, held before the U.S. election, were attended by 30 people including diplomats, politicians, and businessmen and were hosted by French think tank founders Fabien Baussart and his wife, Randa Kassis, both of whom have worked closely with the Kremlin on the topic of Syria.

President Barack Obama ended talks with Russia on Syria last month when a Russian-backed bombing campaign targeted the city of Aleppo. Russia has been repeatedly accused of committing war crimes in the country. President-elect Donald Trump has argued that allying with Russia and backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be a quicker route to defeating ISIS and stabilizing the Middle East.

Kassis said that in her conversation with Donald Trump Jr., she communicated "how we can cooperate together." Kassis also reportedly discussed her conversation with Donald Trump Jr. with senior Russian officials, including the deputy head of Russia's foreign ministry. The foreign ministry did not comment.

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Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said in an email to The Wall Street Journal that Donald Trump Jr.'s interactions with Kassis were limited. "Don was addressing a roundtable in Paris, and [Kassis] was present for that talk and at a group dinner for 30 people. This event featured a number of opinion leaders from all over the world who were interested in the U.S. elections," Conway said.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.