Just hours after Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out an email conversation in which he made it clear he arranged a meeting with a Russian lawyer in an effort to influence the 2016presidential election, he appeared on Fox News to defend himself, describing the meeting as a nothing that led nowhere.
Trump Jr., who is PresidentDonald Trumps eldest son, told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he did not tell his father about the June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked attorney because there was nothing to tell.
It was such a nothing, there was nothing to tell, Trump Jr. said on Hannity. I wouldnt have even remembered it … this was a wasted 20 minutes. It was a shame.
The presidents son also defended his decision to accept the meeting arranged by music promoter Rob Goldstone, whom he described as a casual acquaintance. When Goldstone first emailed in early June,Trump Jr. said he set up the meeting as a courtesy.
In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently. For me, this was opposition research, he said. I literally would not have remembered the meeting. It was a waste of time. Sometimes you do things differently for acquaintances and friends.
This is the first time weve ever done any of this. Im still way in the learning curve on all of this, he said.
The situation in his fathers campaign at the time warranted hearing the source out, he said, noting hissirens didnt even go off because Russia, at the time, wasnt this big news story.
My takeaway, when all of this was going on, is someone has information on our opponent, he told Hannity. Things are going a million miles an hour, you know what its like to be on a campaign. We just won Indiana, but were talking about a contested convention.
Someone sent me an email, he continued. I cant help what someone sends me.
In the June 2016 email exchange, Goldstone offered Trump Jr. a meeting he said would provide information that would be very useful to your father.
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father, Goldstone wrote to Trump Jr., referring to Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton, according to the emails released by the presidents son.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its governments support for Mr. Trump helped along by Aras and Emin, Goldstone added.
If its what you say I love it, Trump Jr. replied.
The younger Trump released the emails shortly before The New York Timespublished a story detailing them.
The Times reported late last weekthat Trump Jr. arranged a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya two weeks after his father won the Republican presidential nomination. Then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also attended.
It is illegal to accept opposition research from foreign nationals,experts say.
Rick Hasen, an expert in campaign finance law,wrotethat it was hard to see how there is not a serious case here of solicitation.
Trump Jr. appears to have knowledge of the foreign source and is asking to see it,he added.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) described Trumps Jr.s actions aspotentially treason.
More From this publisher : HERE