Politics

Trump Jr. May Be Interviewed By Senate Intel Committee

| by Lauren Briggs
Donald Trump Jr. campaigning for his fatherDonald Trump Jr. campaigning for his father

Will Donald Trump Jr. be questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee? Some folks are calling for it after reports broke that he and others connected to his father's campaign met with a Russian lawyer in 2016 to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton.

"Our intelligence committee needs to interview him and others who attended the meeting," Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters July 10, according to the Associated Press.

President Donald Trump's son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner and former campaign chair Paul Manafort also attended the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has links to the Russian government.

"There's no reason for this Russian government advocate to be meeting with Paul Manafort or with Mr. Kushner or the president's son if it wasn't about the campaign and Russia policy," said Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the ranking party member on the House Intelligence Committee, according to The New York Times.

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In a statement, Trump Jr. acknowledged that they had scheduled the meeting believing that Veselnitskaya had a scoop on Clinton, but it turned out to be a dud.

"After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton," Trump Jr. said in a statement describing the meeting. "Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information."

What she really wanted to discuss, he said, was the U.S.'s 2012 Magnitsky Act, which blacklists some Russians accused of human rights abuse and led Russian President Vladimir Putin to ban Americans from adopting Russian children for some time.

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"It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting," Trump Jr. added.

Trump Jr. said that he requested that Manafort and Kushner attend the meeting, but he did not tell them in advance what it would be about.

President Trump's lawyer's spokesman, Mark Corallo, asserted that the Commander-in-Chief "was not aware of and did not attend the meeting."

Whether or not Trump Jr. will be interrogated remains unknown; however, Peter Alexander and Bradd Jaffy of NBC News noted on Twitter that Trump Jr. hired attorney Alan Futerfas to represent him regarding investigations into the Trump campaign's alleged connections to Russia.

"Happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know," Trump Jr. tweeted July 10.

Sources: Associated Press via Talking Points MemoThe New York Times, Donald Trump Jr./Twitter, Brad Jaffy/Twitter / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (2), Max Goldberg/Flickr

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