Donald Trump Jr. does a complete flip-flop on whether he knew about campaign staffers meeting with Russians
Newly released interview transcripts from the Senate Judiciary Committee show Donald Trump Jr. struggling, in real time, to keep his story straight.
The panel interviewed Trump Jr. about the 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer who came to offer "dirt" on then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Lawmakers wanted to know whether Trump Jr. knew of any interactions between Trump campaign personnel and Russian government officials. "I was aware of none," said Trump Jr., in a seemingly definitive statement within his I-don't-remember-filled interview.
So Trump Jr. didn't even know about the meetings between Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and senior adviser Jared Kushner? "If I could scratch my last statement," Trump Jr. said, "yes, I did read about that after the fact."
Okay, let the record show that Trump Jr. knew about the meetings, but not until they were reported in the press. But lawmakers pressed further: Did Trump Jr. know about the meetings when they occurred? "I knew of something," said Trump Jr. "I believe there was a meeting there. I wasn't part of the meeting, but yes, I believe I was aware that it had occurred."
Trump Jr.'s redo constituted a complete 180 on his original answer, though he didn't offer any additional detail on what he knew about the meetings. The president's son additionally said that he had walked in on a December 2016 meeting between Flynn, Kushner, and Kislyak that took place in his office, but said he didn't know what it was about and didn't stay to find out. Read the full interview transcript here.