President Trump dictated the initial statement released by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., explaining why he met last summer with a lawyer linked to the Russian government.

The Washington Post reported Trump personally dictated the statement, in which Trump Jr. said the June 2016 meeting had been primarily related to a ban on adoptions by American families of Russian children.

That claim was later proved to be misleading when Trump Jr., facing public pressure, acknowledged he accepted the meeting after he received an email promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help Trump's campaign.

Previous news reports revealed Trump approved his eldest son's initial statement, but the Post story elevates the extent of the president's personal intervention.

The report stated advisers to Trump fear his involvement in the misleading statement could leave him vulnerable as a subject of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's election interference.

Mueller is probing whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia, and he is also believed to be looking into whether the president has obstructed justice.