Don Jr. Defends Trump Tower Meeting: “I’m Allowed to Have a Conversation With People, Aren’t I?”

The president’s son didn’t want to talk about Russia.

Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr. speaks at a 2019 campaign rally in Cincinnati.John Minchillo/AP

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Mother Jones’ David Corn was eating breakfast on the campaign trail in Manchester, New Hampshire, Tuesday morning when Donald Trump Jr. walked into the diner. Corn took the opportunity to ask the president’s son about the infamous June 2016 Trump tower meeting, when Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer in an effort to obtain incriminating information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. In an email arranging the meeting, Trump Jr. had been told that this was “obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Why, Corn asked Trump Jr., had he agreed to meet with the Russian emissary?

 

“We’ve spoken about this a thousand times,” Trump Jr. responded. “I’ve testified about it, unlike Hunter Biden.”

When Corn pressed further, Trump Jr. added that he is “always happy to hear [what’s on] people’s minds. I’m allowed to have a conversation with people, aren’t I?”

“Of course you could do it,” Corn responded. “I’m asking why you thought it was appropriate to do it. Because you were told it was part of a Russian government effort to help the campaign.”

“No, he wasn’t told that,” replied Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is a Trump campaign adviser and Trump Jr.’s girlfriend.

But yes, he was.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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