Trump Jr. Says He Didn't Tell His Dad Before Meeting Russians


The Senate Judiciary committee released transcripts of its interviews with Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday - about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.

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

Trump Jr. - who had emailed Goldstone ahead of the meeting about the dirt, "if it's what you say I love it" - told congressional investigators he was interested in "listening to information" about Clinton in the June Trump Tower meeting.

The transcript is 224 pages long and includes questions from Senate investigators about conversations he had with the White House about the investigation.

The younger Trump said the Russian visitors briefly indicated that some "business people who were supporters of the DNC and perhaps Hillary Clinton were in some sort of tax scheme to avoid paying taxes in both the United States and Russia".

As more damaging details about the true objective of the meeting trickled out, Trump Jr. on July 9 issued a new statement admitting that he had actually sought damaging information on Clinton from these Russian actors.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has looked closely at the meeting as part of his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which has not yet turned up any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. He said he desperately needed a lawyer, wanted to speak publicly about the case but couldn't because the Trump lawyers wouldn't let him and was hoping to be compensated by the Agalarovs for his troubles.

Trump said, however, that he would have taken such a message only as "general well-wishing", not a concrete offer of help. That offer does not appear to have translated into an actual digital campaign.

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The White House has said the president was involved in drafting an initial statement after news of the meeting broke a year ago.

"I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry", Trump Jr. said Wednesday in a statement released by a spokesman. "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the Committee".

The transcripts show the dissatisfaction of Trump Jr. and other campaign aides, including brother-in-law Jared Kushner, when the meeting failed to yield the harmful Clinton information they thought they'd get - as well as the increasing panic of one of the meeting participants who feared his reputation would be ruined for his role in having set it up.

Akhmetshin told Senate interviewers that Trump Jr. led the meeting, saying, "He was definitely in charge".

Members of Congress and the Justice Department are investigating.

The committee released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts of interviews with Trump's son and others who attended a June 9, 2016, meeting at which they expected to receive dirt about Trump's opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"Americans rightly have many questions about this meeting, and today, we are releasing the transcripts and exhibits from interviews we've conducted to allow the public to know what we know", Grassley said. "Americans can now review this unfiltered information and arrive at their own conclusions".

The first reports about the meeting, initially in the New York Times on July 8, 2017, sent off shock waves, as it was the first known private meeting between Russian nationals and Trump officials during the campaign.