Trump Jr.: Never Told My Father, "There Was Nothing To Tell"
11 July, 2017
In his first public appearance since his tweeted emails earlier today, which seemed to confirm that the Trump campaign was aware that the Russian government was willing to help then-Mr.Trump, Donald Trump Jr. admits "in retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently," telling Fox News' Sean Hannity that he did not tell his father about the meting because "It was just a nothing. There was nothing to tell."
On whether in retrospect he would have done things differently:
"In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently. Again this is before the Russia mania, this is before they were building this up in the press. For me this was opposition research, they had something you know maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I'd been hearing about, probably under reported for years not just during the campaign so I think I wanted to hear it out. But really it went nowhere and it was apparent that wasn't what the meeting was about."
Clip from the show
On why he decided to take the meeting with the Russian lawyer:
"Honestly, my take away when all of this was going on, is that someone has information on our opponent. Things are going a million miles per hour. You know what it's like to be on a campaign. We just won Indiana, but we're talking about a contested convention. Things are going a million miles per hour again and hey, wait a minute, I've hear about all these things, but maybe this is something, I should hear him out."
On whether he read the emails:
"I had been reading about scandals that people were probably underreporting for a long time so maybe it was something that had to do with one of those things. I mean this was her perhaps involvement with the Russian government…so, you know, again, I didn't know if there was any credibility, I didn't know if there was anything behind it, I can't vouch for the information…someone sent me an email! I can't help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly, and if there was something interesting there, I think that's pretty common."
On whether he told his father about the meeting:
"No. It was just a nothing. There was nothing to tell. I mean, I wouldn't have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff. It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame."
President Trump has finally reacted...
My son, Donald, will be interviewed by @seanhannity tonight at 10:00 P.M. He is a great person who loves our country!
Donald Trump Jr. has released the full text of emails from June 2016 related to the meeting he had with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower, describing it as “inane nonsense.”
The president’s son tweeted out the printouts on Tuesday, after several days of claims in the media that his meeting with attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya amounted to proof that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election
Here's my statement and the full email chain
“The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official,” Trump Jr. said in a statement accompanying the materials.
Though the meeting was arranged based on the assumption that she had incriminating information about the Democrats, the lawyer “had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act,” Trump Jr. said.
Veselnitskaya confirmed as much in an exclusive interview to NBC News on Tuesday.
"I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that,” she said. “The question that I was asked was as follows: whether I had any financial records which might prove that the funds used to sponsor the DNC were coming from inappropriate sources.”
She also said that she never requested a meeting with Trump Jr, however.
The meeting was arranged by music publicist Rob Goldstone. The June 3 email from Goldstone to Trump Jr. mentions a “Crown prosecutor of Russia” [sic] offering to provide “information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.”
"This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin,” Goldstone wrote, referring to Aras Agalarov, an Azerbeijani businessman who helped bring Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013.
His son Emin, also referenced in the email, was previously married to the daughter of president Ilkham Aliyev of Azerbaijan.
In contrast to the June 2016 email, Goldstone on Tuesday described the actual meeting as “the most inane nonsense I ever heard,”according to the New York Times.
Among the Senate Democrats, however, the story of the meeting is seen as explosive. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, said that the congressional probe into the Trump campaign is even considering treason charges.
“We are now beyond obstruction of justice, in terms of what is being investigated,” Kaine told MSNBC. “This is moving into perjury, false statements, and even into potentially treason.”
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday claimed that Donald Trump Jr. releasing his own emails was the result of a conversation they had.
Assange said on Twitter that he contacted Trump Jr. to make the case that he should release the emails that led up to the president's oldest son meeting with a Russian lawyer, and that it should be done via WikiLeaks.
Two hours later, Trump Jr. did it himself, Assange said.
Contacted Trump Jr this morning on why he should publish his emails (i.e with us). Two hours later, does it himself: