Society

Eric Trump: Russia Probe Is 'Greatest Hoax Of All Time'

| by Robert Fowler

President Donald Trump's two sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., asserted during an interview that accusations against their father's campaign colluding with Russian officials to subvert the 2016 election are a partisan hoax.

On June 6, the two Trump scions blasted the federal probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election, asserting that any speculation involving the investigation was fabricated by their father's critics.

"It's the greatest hoax of all time," Eric told ABC News. "I was there throughout the campaign. We have no dealings in Russia. We have no projects in Russia. We have nothing to do with Russia."

Donald Jr. agreed with his brother's assessment, asserting that the Russia probe "reads and smells like a witch hunt."

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Both Trump sons confirmed that they would watch former FBI Director James Comey's hotly anticipated testimony before Congress.

On May 9, the president fired Comey. The move drew fierce condemnation from critics, who pointed out that the bureau director was leading the investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged Russian contacts, the Washington Post reports.

On May 17, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to head the Russia probe.

Both Trump sons asserted that Mueller's appointment was necessary but did not validate the Russia investigation.

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"I mean, I really think they had to, optically," Eric said. "But it is nothing more than a witch hunt. At the end of the day, I really believe nothing will come out of this in any way."

On June 8, Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The panel chairman, Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, has signaled that no question will be off-limits during the hearing: "As far as I'm concerned, anything that would be off-limits would have to be expressed by the former director," said Burr.

In 2008, Donald Jr. stated during a real estate conference that the Trump Organization was receiving a large amount of Russian investment.

"Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," Donald Jr. said during the conference. "We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."

On May 11, golf writer James Dodson asserted that Eric Trump had told him in 2014 that the Trump Organization's golf courses were funded by Russian entities.

"[Eric] said: 'Well, we don't rely on American banks,'" Dodson told WBUR. "'We have all the funding we need out of Russia.' I said: 'Really?' And he said: 'Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.'"

On May 7, Eric Trump denied Dodson's account of their conversation.

“It’s a recollection from some guy three years ago through a third person ... We have zero ties to Russian investors,” Eric told the New York Post.

Sources: ABC News, CNNNew York Post, Washington Post (2), WBUR / Photo credit: Disney | ABC Television/Flickr

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