Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russia lawyer "highly inappropriate," Michael Morell says

Russia meeting revelations
Russia meeting revelations 03:44

For months, President Trump and his representatives denied that there was any link between Russia and the Trump campaign. But now, Donald Trump Jr. confirms he and other officials met with a Russian lawyer who said she had information that could damage Hillary Clinton. 

Trump Jr., his brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya -- who is said to have ties with Russia's government -- at Trump Tower last June. Trump Jr. said in a statement Sunday he was told he was meeting with an individual who "might have information helpful to the campaign." 

On Monday, CBS News senior national security contributor Michael Morell, who was deputy and acting director of the CIA, said "the meeting should never have happened" during a discussion on "CBS This Morning." 

"I think it is highly inappropriate for an American campaign to meet with a foreign official, whether that foreign official is connected to a government or not, because it allows a foreign national to potentially influence the outcome of an election," Morell said.

From a national security perspective, Morell says there are several issues that come to light in regards to the meeting, including the fact that Kushner has made a habit of not reporting "a meeting with a foreign official on his form to get his security clearance." 

Trump's return from G20 02:11

While there may have been no collusion that took place during the conference, Morell says "the fact that they were willing to do the meeting" suggests "a willingness to collude."

"I'm not a lawyer," he added. "I don't think it's illegal, but it certainly shows a willingness to collude." 

During their discussion, "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King noted that Sen. John McCain told "Face The Nation" that while he thinks it is time to move forward, there still has to be a price to pay, otherwise Putin will be "encouraged to do so again." 

When asked what that price might be, Morell said, "My biggest concern in the Trump-Putin meeting was a willingness to move forward without any accounting for what the Russians did. It's very important that Putin pay a price for what he did so that it will deter him going forward."

"I think the price is what the U.S. Senate has now passed overwhelmingly, which is additional sanctions on Russia," he continued. "The Trump White House opposes those additional sanctions, but I think that's what's required to get Putin's attention." 

During the campaign, Morell supported Hillary Clinton for president.