Trump Jr.’s Hannity interview came just hours after he published a potentially incriminating email chain detailing the setup of the June 9, 2016, meeting with Kremlin-linked attorneyNatalia Veselnitskaya. Rod Goldstone, the British publicist who orchestrated the meeting, promised in the emails to deliver “official documents and information” damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that were “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
In the interview, Trump Jr. blamed the fact that campaigns ran at a “million miles an hour” and that he “can’t help” it if someone sends him an email. But, regardless, he said that the entire matter was inconsequential because it unfolded well before there was “Russia-mania.” Knowing what he knows now, he said, he may have handled it a little differently.
President Trump plugged his son’s performance on the show in a tweet before it aired, saying Trump Jr. loved his country. When he woke up this morning, he continued to assert that his namesake had vindicated himself.
My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017
Trump has frequently called the investigation into Russia a witch hunt. He also declared that any reporting on his son, which predominately came from the New York Times, was false because it relied heavily on unnamed sources.
Remember, when you hear the words "sources say" from the Fake Media, often times those sources are made up and do not exist.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017
In the interview, when Trump Jr. was pressed on whether he’d met with any other Russians, he responded with “I don’t know.” He also repeated that he took the meeting only out of a courtesy to a friend, but at the same time said he was happy to try to obtain any opposition research on Hillary Clinton, regardless of provenance.
Later in the interview, Hannity played a clip of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) calling Trump Jr.’s actions potential “treason.” Trump Jr. promised that he would be happy to provide everything on the matter to investigators but said that they would be disappointed because “this was everything.”
Trump Jr. said the whole meeting was such a “nothing” and a “wasted 20 minutes” that he didn’t bother telling his father.
In a later tweet, Trump tried to flip the matter back on the Democrats, citing a Washington Times article that said the party used false information—predominantly the Christopher Steele dossier—to attempt to discredit the president.
.@WashTimes states "Democrats have willfully used Moscow disinformation to influence the presidential election against Donald Trump."— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017
You can watch Trump Jr.’s full Hannity entire interview here.