Trump Jr. says he can't recall discussing Russia probe with his father

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday they agreed with intelligence agencies' assessment that Moscow sought to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election to boost Donald Trump's prospects of becoming president.

Grassley had said in January he wanted to release the transcripts of the interviews.

Following the documents' release, Trump Jr. said the transcripts show he "answered every question asked". Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, and former National Security Agency director Adm. Mike Rogers were in attendance. Former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump, was invited but did not appear. He did so after receiving emails that described an outreach, via a series of intermediaries, from Russia's top federal prosecutor, Yuri Chaika, offering help to the Trump campaign.

Asked in the interview if his father was involved in drafting the statement, Trump said: "I don't know".

Transcripts released Wednesday detail an interview the president's eldest son gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee a year ago. "If I could scratch my last statement", Trump Jr. said, "yes, I did read about that after the fact".

It lasted four minutes and came sandwiched between two phone calls Mr Trump Jr had with Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani-Russian businessman and music star who was pushing for the Trump Tower meeting.

That's despite another attendee recalling that Akhmetshin was dressed in hot pink jeans and a hot pink shirt that day.

"The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President (Vladimir) Putin himself for the objective of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton", Warner said.

"The public's business ought to be public", Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters. Without interviews of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, adviser Jared Kushner and others, Democrats say "much of the truth remains hidden".

And Rob Goldstone, the British music publicist who arranged the Trump Tower meeting, said he was expecting a "smoking gun" from Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya when he urged Trump take the meeting, even though he thought it was a "bad idea and that we shouldn't do it".

Donald Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he couldn't remember whether he had discussed the Russian Federation investigation with his father.

The material, which includes interview transcripts and other "exhibits", is available here.

The Senate Judiciary Committee released more than 2,500 pages of documents on Wednesday related to its investigation about a meeting in 2016 between top Trump aides and a delegation of Russians who promised to help the campaign.

Later in his testimony, Trump Jr. repeatedly deemphasized his father's role in shaping how this information was conveyed to the press.

Mr Trump Jr has repeatedly said he did not know of any direct involvement by his father in drafting an explanation for the meeting that subsequently turned out to be untrue.

But that last determination - that Russian Federation meant to help Trump - sets up a clash within the GOP over which record of events is most accurate, a dispute that could complicate the party's messaging surrounding the Russian Federation investigations as it heads into the 2018 election season.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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