Senate panel releases transcripts on Trump Tower meeting
Donald Trump Jr. said in Senate testimony that he was “skeptical” about his now-infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, noting that the conversation “provided no meaningful information.”
Trump Jr.’s comments were revealed Wednesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee released transcripts of numerous interviews of figures involved in the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.
The documents cover more than 1,800 pages of transcripts. The controversial meeting, when it was first revealed, fueled allegations of Trump campaign coordination with Russia. But those involved have since downplayed its significance.
“My skepticism was justified. The meeting provided no meaningful information and turned out to be not about what was represented,” Trump Jr. testified. “The meeting was instead primarily focused on Russian adoptions, which is exactly what I said over a year later in my statement of July 8, 2017.”
Trump Jr. was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton’s involvement with Russia in an email from Rob Goldstone, a music producer for Russian pop star Emin Agalarov. Trump Jr. testified that he had “no way to gauge” the “reliability, credibility, or accuracy” of anything Goldstone promised.
“I love it,” Trump Jr. wrote back to Goldstone at the time, but testified that it was “simply a colloquial way of saying that I appreciated Rob’s gesture.”
Trump Jr. testified that if he was given information on Clinton, he would have then consulted with counsel to “make an informed decision as to whether to give it any further consideration.”
“I also note at this time there was no focus on Russian activities that there is today,” Trump Jr. said.
Trump Jr. also noted that he was not aware of who would be in the meeting. Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, Rinat Akhmetshin, and Irakly Kaveladze attended the Trump Tower meeting; along with Trump Jr., Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner.
Trump Jr. deflected multiple questions during the interview, including whether he discussed the Russia probe with his father. According to the transcripts, Trump Jr. also said he didn’t think there was anything wrong with attending the Trump Tower meeting in which he was promised dirt on 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,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement. “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 meeting is under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Fox News’ William Mears and The Associated Press contributed to this report.