Trump’s rendezvous with Macron overshadowed by son's e-mail

As scandal flares up back home, President Trump is in France to warm up relations with French President Emmanuel Macron and to try to change the subject.

PARIS (REUTERS) - As scandal flares up back home, United States President Trump is in France to warm up relations with French President Emmanuel Macron and try to change the subject.

But Mr Trump's problems followed him across the Atlantic as he was asked to explain why his son met with a Russian lawyer under the assumption she had damaging information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

"Were you misled by your team in not knowing about this meeting?" a reporter asked.

"As far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful young man," said Mr Trump.

"Most people would've taken that meeting. It's called opposition research or even research into your opponent," he added.

Whether that is true is a question likely taken up by investigators at the US Justice Department and the Senate Judiciary Committee, who now want Mr Trump Jr to testify under oath before Congress, possibly as early as next week.

The President told Reuters on Wednesday (July 12) that he found out about his son's meeting only days ago.

Still, investigators are likely to probe the timeline of Mr Trump Jr's Russian connection and what followed. Just three hours after Mr Trump Jr confirmed the meeting in an e-mail on June 7, Mr Trump took the stage in New York promising dirt on Mrs Clinton.

"I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we're gonna be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons. I think you're gonna find it very informative and very, very interesting," said Mr Trump.

But after his son's meeting with the Russian lawyer on June 9, which was apparently a dud, his promised bombshell speech on Mrs Clinton was cancelled.

Amid all of these questions of coincidence or coordination was a chance to change the scenery.

The Trumps and Macrons toured sites on Thursday, including a trip to Napoleon's tomb at Les Invalides.

The trip was designed to improve relations between the two countries after a rocky start, with very public disagreements over the Paris climate accord. Mr Trump, who pulled the US out of the accord last month, on Thursday coyishly suggested that could change.

"Yeah, I mean, something could happen with respect to the Paris accord. We'll see what happens," said Mr Trump.

The two men capped off the first day with a lavish meal atop the Eiffel Tower - followed by a massive Bastille Day celebration on Friday complete with a military parade and centennial commemorations of the entry of US troops into World War I.