Trump Jr. saw no issue in meeting with Russian
WASHINGTON — Questioned intently by a Senate committee, President Donald Trump’s son struck a firmly unapologetic tone, deflected many queries and said he didn’t think there was anything wrong with meeting a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in hope of election-season dirt on Hillary Clinton, according to transcripts released Wednesday.
Asked if he was troubled by the idea that the meeting in June 2016 was part of a Russian government effort to help his father in the presidential race, Donald Trump Jr. said he didn’t give it much thought.
“I don’t know that it alarmed me, but I like I said, I don’t know and I don’t know that I was all that focused on it at the time,” Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee during closed questioning last year.
The committee released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts of interviews with Trump Jr. and others who attended the New York meeting at which they expected to receive compromising information about Trump’s Democratic opponent. The panel also released more than 700 pages of exhibits including numerous emails, heavily redacted phone logs and depositions.
Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee said it stands behind a 2017 assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the election to hurt Clinton and help Trump. Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement that his staff had spent 14 months “reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work, and we see no reason to dispute the conclusions.”
The transcripts reveal some new details about how the meeting came to be arranged and efforts afterward to mitigate the political damage arising from its disclosure.
They also show the dissatisfaction of Trump Jr. and others, including brother-in-law Jared Kushner, when the meeting didn’t yield harmful Clinton information