Trump Jr. told Senate he couldn't remember if he discussed Russian investigation with father
Donald Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he couldn't remember if he had discussed the Russia investigation with his father, according to transcripts of his interview with the panel.
On Wednesday, the committee released more than 2,500 pages of transcripts taken from interviews conducted last year, including one with the president's son, who met with a Russian attorney at Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 election.
During the exchange, Trump Jr., the eldest child of the 45th POTUS, deflected multiple questions, including whether he had talked about the Russian probe with his father.
"I have no recollection of documents being offered or left for us," he told them. "I did not collude with any foreign government and did not know anyone who did. That was the end of it and there was no further contact or follow-up of any kind. My father knew nothing of the meeting or these events.”
In the transcripts, Trump Jr. also claimed that he had agreed to a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton, because he wanted to determine her "fitness" for office.
The June 2016 meeting, which was also attended White House senior adviser Jared Kushner - who is Ivanka Trump's husband - and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, was allegedly a chance for the Trump team to get damaging information about 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
When the meeting initially became public knowledge last year, Trump Jr. claimed that its purpose was to discuss Russian adoption policy. However, days later, the story changed, with Trump's son eventually releasing emails between him and the music publicist Rob Goldstone, who had helped to arrange the gathering with Veselnitskaya.
In the emails, Veselnitskaya was identified as a "Russian government attorney" and Goldstone told Trump Jr. she wanted to share some information about Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."
Despite this, Trump Jr. has insisted that damaging information about Clinton was not provided. In the months that followed, however, it was let out that President Trump was involved with crafting one of his son's responses to the speculation about the meeting.
Trump Jr. responded to the release of the latest transcripts in a statement provided to Business Insider, which read: "I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry. The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee."
In addition, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Chairman of the Judiciary panel, commented on the transcripts, stating: “These materials, taken in their entirety, provide the most complete public picture of the events surrounding the meeting to date. Americans can now review this unfiltered information and arrive at their own conclusions."
The documents released today also included transcripts of interviews with Glenn Simpson, who headed Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm which helped to assemble the Steele Dossier, as well as several other people present at the Trump Tower meeting.