US President Donald Trump has said his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, is “a high-quality person” and has applauded “his transparency”.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a brief statement from the president in response to revelations that Mr Trump Jr agreed to hear damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government’s effort to help his father.

Mr Trump Jr posted his emails with publicist Rob Goldstone on Twitter on Tuesday.

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The emails with Mr Goldstone show that Mr Trump Jr was told that the Russian government had information that could “incriminate” Mrs Clinton and her dealings with Russia.

Mr Trump Jr eagerly accepted help from what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid his father’s campaign, according to the emails.

The email exchange represents the clearest sign to date that members of the president’s inner circle were willing to meet during the campaign with Russians who wanted Mr Trump to prevail.

US intelligence agencies have said the Russian government meddled in the election through hacking to aid Mr Trump.

The emails show Mr Trump Jr conversing with a music publicist who wanted him to meet with a lawyer from Moscow.

The publicist describes the lawyer as a “Russian government attorney” who has dirt on Mrs Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.

In one response, Mr Trump Jr said he would “love” to hear more.

Mr Trump Jr, who was deeply involved in his father’s presidential campaign, released the emails along with a statement describing the disclosure as an effort “to be totally transparent”.

Hours after the emails were released, the president rose to his son’s defence.

Donald Trump Jnr met with Russian lawyer Natalia VeselnitskayaDonald Trump Jnr met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya (Yury Martyanov/AP)

“My son is a high quality person and I applaud his transparency,” Mr Trump said in the statement read to reporters by Mrs Huckabee Sanders. She referred all questions about the emails to outside lawyers hired by the president’s son.