Trump Jr. denies Russian collusion
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s eldest son cast his meeting with a Russian lawyer last year as simply an opportunity to learn about Hillary Clinton’s “fitness, character or qualifications,” insisting to Senate investigators behind closed doors that he did not collude with Russia to hurt her campaign against his father.
Donald Trump Jr.’s description of the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York, delivered in a statement Thursday at the outset of a Senate panel’s staff interview, provided his most detailed account yet of an encounter that has drawn close scrutiny from Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller.
He tried to dismiss concerns about one comment he made in emails leading up to the meeting. He said he was just being polite when he emailed “I love it” to Rob Goldstone, the publicist who was setting up the meeting with a Russian who was said to have election-season dirt on Clinton.
Trump Jr. said it was “simply a colloquial way of saying that I appreciated Rob’s gesture.”
Thursday’s interview at the Capitol was the first known instance of Trump Jr. giving his version of the meeting in a setting that could expose him to legal jeopardy. It’s a crime to lie to Congress.