Trump jnr ‘never told father about meeting with Russian'
Donald Trump jnr has said he never told his father about a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer who promised him compromising information on rival Hillary Clinton.
The president’s oldest son told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity: “It was just a nothing. There was nothing
An email exchange posted to Twitter by Mr Trump jnr showed him conversing with a music publicist who wanted him to meet with a “Russian government attorney” who supposedly had dirt on Mrs Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.
The messages reveal that Mr Trump jnr was told the Russian government had information that could “incriminate” Mrs Clinton and her dealings with Russia.
“I love it,” Mr Trump jnr said in one email response.
As the emails reverberated across the political world, Mr Trump jnr defended his actions in the interview with Fox News, blaming the decision to take the meeting on the “million miles per hour” pace of a presidential campaign and his suspicion that the lawyer might have information about “under-reported” scandals involving Mrs Clinton.
He said the meeting “really went nowhere” and that he never told his father about it because there was “nothing to tell”.
“In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently,” he said.
Democrats in Congress voiced outrage and insisted the messages showed clear collusion, with California Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, declaring that “all of the campaign’s previous denials obviously now have to be viewed in a different context”.
Yet Republicans – who stand the most to lose politically from Mr Trump’s Russia ordeal – did not join in the
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was confident Senate investigators would “get to the bottom of whatever happened”. And Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican on the intelligence committee, cautioned that the emails were “only part of the picture”.
Mr Trump jnr, who was deeply involved in his father’s presidential campaign, portrayed his decision to release the emails as an effort “to be totally transparent”. In fact, they had already been
obtained by The New York Times.
Hours after the son posted the emails, the father rose to his defence.
“My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency,” the president said in a statement read to reporters by White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Although Ms Sanders declined to answer questions about the emails, she stood by the White House’s long-standing insistence that no-one in Trump’s campaign colluded to influence the election.
US intelligence agencies have said the Russian government meddled in the presidential election through hacking to aid Mr Trump.