In Tweet, Zeldin Calls Trump Jr. Russia Meeting a 'No-No'

Rep. Lee Zeldin, left, at the South Fork Natural History Museum benefit on Saturday, with its president, Andy Sabin of Amagansett, has criticized a meeting between a representative of the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

This article was updated with the version that appeared in print on July 13.

The East End’s representative, Lee Zeldin, a Republican in his second term, was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy for president. He has generally championed Mr. Trump since his inauguration, but according to statements made on Tuesday, that support may be slipping.

The fast-developing story about a June 2016 meeting between the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and people connected to the Russian government first became public on Saturday. Multiple American intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russians actively sought to aid Mr. Trump’s election and harm the campaign of his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

An email chain, released Monday, between the president’s son and an intermediary representing a senior Russian government official indicated that Donald Jr. knew he was interacting with the Russian government, with the mutual goal of influencing the election, when he met with a lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya, who is reportedly closely connected to the Kremlin. The president’s then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also attended that meeting.

Donald Jr. initially said the conversation mostly concerned an adoption program. Soon after the emails were made public, Mr. Zeldin tweeted that the meeting was “not Russian govt colluding w Trump campaign. Missing too many elements. This one appears to be a big nothingburger.” The statement echoed an assessment made by Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, on “Fox News Sunday.”

On Tuesday, however, after The New York Times made ready to publish details of the emails, prompting the president’s son to issue them himself, Donald Jr. acknowledged that the information came from the Russian government and was part of an effort to help his father. Mr. Zeldin then tweeted from his @leezeldin account, “New emails from @DonaldJTrumpJr contradict a lot of prior story from yesterday and before. This is not the same thing.”

In another tweet, the congressman wrote that “I voted for @POTUS last Nov. & want him & USA to succeed, but that meeting, given that email chain just released, is a big no-no.”

Jennifer DiSiena, Mr. Zeldin’s communications director, said on Tuesday, “Congressman Zeldin believes that Russia meddled in the United States election. He’s always supported a fair and thorough investigation.” She did not respond to a question as to whether Mr. Zeldin believes the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to influence the election.

In a statement also issued on Tuesday, Evan Lukaske, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that “American intelligence agencies have already determined Russia worked to undermine our elections last year, and now there is proof that Trump campaign officials were willing and eager accomplices. Now Zeldin should say so.”

President Trump regularly rejects the conclusions of the American intelligence community while praising Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia. At the G20 summit last week in Hamburg, Germany, he apparently accepted Mr. Putin’s denial of any attempt to meddle in the election.

Mr. Manafort, who owns a house in Bridgehampton, along with Mr. Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Michael Flynn, the former National Security Adviser who was fired weeks into Mr. Trump’s presidency, are among administration officials said to have held undisclosed meetings with Russian officials or others with close ties to Mr. Putin.

The meeting reported this week may be the most explicit indication to date of the Russian effort to put Mr. Trump in the Oval Office.