Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Trump Jr says he was 'forthright' in answers

Senate Intel Panel Agrees Russia Intervened In 2016 Presidential Election Witnesses disagree on Kushner timing at Trump Tower meeting
Sammy Stanley | 16 May, 2018, 22:25

Donald Trump Jr. told congressional investigators he was interested in "listening to information" from a Russian lawyer that could damage Hillary Clinton's campaign, but he said he did not discuss the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with his father.

In a statement Wednesday, Trump Jr. says "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee".

In a pair of statements following the meeting, the Republican and Democrat who lead the Senate Intelligence Committee say they have no reason to question the intelligence community's January 2017 report and its conclusions, splitting with House Republicans' recent report disputing the intelligence community's conclusion that Putin favored Trump over Clinton.

Committee Democrats said the details about the meeting revealed in the new trove of documents confirm an inappropriate relationship between Trump campaign aides and the Russian government.

Schiff said Trump jnr invoked the privilege because his lawyers claimed that the discussion with his father took place in the presence of legal counsel, which Schiff and other Democrats argued is a situation not covered by the privilege.

While Comey will not appear on Capitol Hill before the Senate, House Republicans have expressed renewed interest in questioning the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director about his interactions with Trump and past congressional testimony following his media blitz.

He said the organisation would "reach out on a few occasions, sort of passing along news" and suggesting that he tweet it. Mr Trump Jr said he thinks the only time he responded was to say: "Hey, when (am I) going to receive the next leak"?

The transcripts and notes reaffirm accounts of the meeting that people involved already have given - that Donald Trump Jr. and his compatriots sought "dirt" offered to them on Hillary Clinton and received at least one political intelligence tip but nothing as explosive as they had hoped.

JR Smith Should Have Been Ejected
In fairness to Smart, the replay showed he had every right to be upset. "One of my guys was down and I took offence to it". You keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's gonna keep picking on you until you finally stand up.

But he said he went against his own instincts and arranged the sitdown at the behest of an important client, Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star and son of an oligarch.

AZ analysis: One of the things that comes through in the committee documents is exactly how eager the Agalarovs were to set up this meeting with the Trump campaign's senior staff. "There is no doubt that Russian Federation undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with out 2016 elections". They show that Trump Jr. says he doesn't remember ever discussing the Russian Federation investigation at all with his father. Among those attending was lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin. But the panel released her written responses to a letter that Senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley sent her a year ago.

The panel was also not able to interview Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, or Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, though both attended.

That's according to transcripts of his interview with the panel past year.

AZ analysis: Trump Jr's memory once again fails him, this time when it comes to exactly how involved his father was in helping craft the original - misleading - explanation that the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was to discuss adoption policy.

Kushner, who Grassley previously said had been "spooked" out of testifying, and Manafort, who has since been indicted on money laundering and assorted other charges, did not appear before the committee.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Senate Democrats alleged that the Senate documents show ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has looked closely at the meeting as part of his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which has not yet turned up any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.

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