Early Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted praise for his son Donald Trump Jr., declaring him “open, transparent and innocent.”
“My son Donald did a good job last night,” the president tweeted. “He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!”
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
Donald Jr. appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity Tuesday night, answering many questions about his meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya set up by Rob Goldstone, a British-born former tabloid reporter and agent for Azerbaijani-Russian singer Emin Agalarov. The Left has insisted that this meeting proves “collusion” between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
As the story broke Tuesday, Donald Jr. published his email correspondence with Goldstone before the meeting. While Goldstone did claim close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was unlikely he actually had these connections.
The president’s son told Hannity that the meeting with Veselnitskaya lasted “about 20 minutes.” The so-called Russian agent shifted to other matters, namely U.S.-Russia adoption policy. “It was such a nothing, there was nothing to tell. I wouldn’t have even remembered it,” Trump Jr. said.
The president’s son explained his thought process upon reading Goldstone’s email. “Someone has information about our opponent: Maybe this is something, I should hear him out.” He noted that in a campaign, “people are trying to reach out to you all the time with this.”
“This is pre-Russia fever. This is pre-Russia mania. I don’t even think my sirens went up … at the time, it wasn’t this big news story,” Trump Jr. said.
While liberals have pounced on the email, in which Goldstone claimed connections to the Russian government, the president’s son said, “There was some puffery to the email, there was probably some bait and switch.”
The president’s son insisted that Veselnitskaya did not have close connections with Putin. “Apparently she was a prosecutor in Moscow who hasn’t done that since 2002.”
Trump Jr. insisted that if he saw anything illegal in the meetings, “a hundred percent, I would bring it to the proper authorities.”
“There’s nothing that I would do to ever endanger this country,” he insisted. “We’d do anything for this country. We’d never do anything to put that in jeopardy.”
As the interview with Hannity drew to a close, Trump Jr. attacked the mainstream media, saying they had “probably done themselves a disservice” and that their anti-Trump reporting is “pushing regular people away.”
He insisted that the president’s campaign promises are coming true, “and that’s not getting any coverage, and that’s a real shame.”
While these latest revelations have attracted criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, it seems unlikely that Donald Trump Jr. had any true connection with Moscow, and that this episode does not come close to proving the Trump-Russia narrative. Or, in the president’s words, his son is “innocent.”