What We Now Know About Trump Jr's Infamous Air Force 1 Statement


What We Now Know About Trump Jr's Infamous Air Force 1 Statement

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2018

The US Senate Judiciary Committee has released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts, which provide new insight into the controversial meeting during which Donald Trump Jr, along with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and then campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was expecting to receive "dirt" on Hillary Clinton from Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The material, which includes interview transcripts and other "exhibits", is available here.

And CNN K-File reporter Andrew Kaczynski flagged a portion of Trump Jr.'s testimony in which he claimed that his email saying that he'd "love" dirt on Hillary Clinton, "especially later in the summer", were meant as a brush off of sorts. Democrats had pressed Grassley to subpoena Kushner for his testimony or schedule a public hearing for Trump Jr., but he chose not to do so following Feinstein's decision to release the Simpson transcript.

Trump Jr. later told the senators that he never mentioned to his father he was going to hold the meeting and did not think he talked with him about it immediately afterward.

"I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry", he wrote in a statement sent to Breitbart News.


In the transcripts, Trump Jr. said that he was skeptical that Rob Goldstone, the publicist who had been the first to contact him about a meeting, had colleagues who possessed incriminating information about Clinton, but said felt he should at least "hear them out". "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee".

Asked to account for the evolving statements, Trump Jr. told Senate investigators that "they're all very consistent with each other". The revelation raised new questions about the objective of the June meeting, which Trump Jr. initially explained away as being merely about Russian adoptions.

Trump said, however, that he would have taken such a message only as "general well-wishing", not a concrete offer of help.

Okay, let the record show that Trump Jr. knew about the meetings, but not until they were reported in the press.

The comments from Trump Jr. and Goldstone are part of more than 2,000 pages of documents the Senate Judiciary Committee released Wednesday from interviews the panel conducted with Trump Jr. and other participants of the meeting.


The judiciary panel's 10 Democrats, in their joint response to the transcript release, noted that interviews turned up signs of dejection among the Trump allies present about the meeting's lack of more coherent negative material on Clinton.

In another indication that the meeting was not supposed to be a top-secret attempt for the Trump campaign to collude with Russia, Goldstone also revealed that he "checked in" to Trump Tower on Facebook when he arrived.

Asked if he thought it would be a problem to take a meeting described to him as part of a Russian government effort to aid his father, Trump Jr. said no.

Veselnitskaya later revealed in an interview on NBC and in emails obtained by ABC News that - contrary to her earlier denials of Russian government ties to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators - she is, in fact, closely linked to top Kremlin official, Yuri Chaika, the prosecutor general.

President Trump has cited that finding and argued that the continuing investigations in Congress and by the Justice Department are just a "witch hunt".


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