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Donald Trump Jr. told Senate investigators he met with the Russian lawyer to evaluate Hillary Clinton's 'fitness' to lead

In a closed-door interview Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. told Senate Judiciary Committee investigators that he met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign because he felt "it was important to learn about [Hillary] Clinton's 'fitness' to be president," The New York Times reported. "To the extent they had information concerning the fitness, character, or qualifications of a presidential candidate, I believed that I should at least hear them out. Depending on what, if any, information they had, I could then consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration," Trump Jr. said, per a copy of his statement obtained by the Times.

Trump Jr. told congressional investigators that he was at first unsure about accepting the meeting, and the Times noted that his intent to seek legal counsel afterwards suggests he "knew, or at least suspected" that the meeting "raised thorny legal issues." However, his account more so conveyed a meeting that was hastily arranged by a campaign that largely lacked experience and organization. The Times noted that Trump Jr. is the second person with ties to the Trump campaign to paint the campaign to investigators as "too unfamiliar with politics to pull off a master strategy — let alone coordinate with the Russian government," after senior adviser Jared Kushner did so in his own meeting with senators earlier this year.

Trump Jr. maintained Thursday that the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower did not end up being fruitful. "The meeting provided no meaningful information and turned out not to be about what had been represented," he said.

Read the full report at The New York Times.