Trump Jr. brushes off explosive emails, admits he ‘probably’ had more meetings with Russians
“[P]eople are trying to reach out to you all the time.”
During an interview with Sean Hannity that aired Tuesday night, Donald Trump Jr. said that when a personal acquaintance sent him an email making an offer to connect him with a Russian government operative who had incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, it didn’t set off any alarm bells.
The smoking gun.thinkprogress.org
Hannity referred to a passage in a June 3, 2016 email from a Russia-connected music publicist named Rob Goldstone that offered to connect Trump Jr. with a Russian lawyer who would provide “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” and “would be very useful to your father” as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” He asked, “When you read the part about the Russian government or Russia supporting your father, did that put off any sirens in your head?”
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Trump Jr. replied. “I think, this was, again, just basic information that was gonna be possibly there. I didn’t know these guys well enough to know that if this talent manager from Miss Universe [Goldstone] had this kind of thing, so, I wanted to hear him out and play it out and see what happens, but, you know, people are trying to reach out to you all the time with this.”
But later in the interview, Trump Jr. said Goldstone’s email was in fact the only time he was approached with an offer of incriminating opposition research during the campaign. He also acknowledged that he had some regrets about how he handled the process of taking the meeting, which he described as something he did as a courtesy to an acquaintance.
“At any point in your point, did Don Jr. have a siren saying — again, I go back to the first email — about Russia, Russian government?” Hannity asked.
A straight line from the Russian government to Donald Trump.thinkprogress.org
“In retrospect, I probably would’ve done things a little bit differently,” Trump Jr. replied. “Again, this is before the Russia mania, this was before they were building it up in the press. For me, this was opposition research, they had something … I wanted to hear it out.”
Hannity also asked Trump Jr. whether he informed his father about the offer he had received to collude with Russia. He didn’t provide a straight answer to the question.
“It was just such a nothing,” he said. “There was nothing to tell.”
The president isn’t even attempting to defend him.thinkprogress.org
At another point, Hannity confirmed he “probably met with other people from Russia” during the campaign.
Nevertheless, he insisted no further damaging revelations would emerge.
“This is everything,” Trump Jr. said.