President Trump on Wednesday told Reuters that he was unaware of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer until a “couple days ago,” and did not fault his son for accepting the meeting.
“It was a 20-minute meeting, I guess, from what I’m hearing,” Trump said. “Many people, and many political pros, said everybody would do that.”
The White House on Wednesday worked to try and go on the offensive, and change the conversation into what it sees as a Democrat double standard for their associates’ alleged coordination with foreign governments in 2016.
But one important issue is that Trump Jr. was did not immediately report that he met with the lawyer. The New York Times claimed that Trump Jr. only tweeted images of the emails after “he was told NYT was about to publish the contents of the emails.”
Trump Jr. acknowledged in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday night that he “probably would have done things a little differently”
“This [was] pre-Russia fever. This [was] pre-Russia mania,” Trump Jr. told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I don’t think my sirens went [off] or my antenna went up at this time because it wasn’t the issue that it’s been made out to be over the last nine months, ten months.”
The president’s eldest son also described the meeting as “a nothing,” adding, “I wouldn’t have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff. It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame.”
The emails between Trump Jr. and Goldstone contain no evidence that the president’s son was informed of the larger alleged Russian effort to meddle in the U.S. presidential election.
Trump, for his part, said on Twitter that the White house was “functioning perfectly, focused on HealthCare, Tax Cuts/Reform & many other things. I have very little time for watching T.V.”