Donald Trump Jr. is now high on Mueller’s list of people who are likely guilty of Russian collusion. Mueller is investigating the now infamous Trump Tower meeting which took place in June 2016. Trump Jr. attended the meeting where Russian officials were present along with several others including White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Now, Don Jr. has told investigators that he spoke first with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and not Donald Trump when confronted with news reports about the June 2016 meeting. According to CNN:
‘Instead, Trump Jr. said he was speaking to White House aide Hope Hicks about how to respond to the reports. He said President Donald Trump, according to the sources, was debating between a longer and a shorter statement while the President and Hicks were aboard Air Force One.
‘Hicks was aboard Air Force One and was speaking with Trump while the statement was being crafted.’
According to The Times, Trump Jr. personally crafted a response so terrible that it had to be edited several more times. It was reported that once Trump Jr. and the rest of staff were aboard Air Force One, there was discussion about what Jr. should say in a letter he was drafting to The Times in response to reports about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. They debated about how transparent the letter should be and exactly what should be said. The Times reported:
‘Ultimately, the people said, the president signed off on a statement from Donald Trump Jr. for The Times that was so incomplete that it required day after day of follow-up statements, each more revealing than the last. It culminated on Tuesday with a release of emails making it clear that Mr. Trump’s son believed the Russian lawyer was seeking to meet with him to provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton “as part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”‘
According to CNN:
‘Separately, sources said, Trump Jr. said he could not recall some key details about the White House response.’
According to CNN:
‘Both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have interviewed several of the participants in the meeting, including when the House panel last week questioned the Russian translator, Anatoli Samochornov, who also attended the Trump Tower session, sources said.‘Trump Jr. firmly denied that he had communicated with his father about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, according to the sources.’
‘Trump Jr.’s highly anticipated testimony comes as he has faced growing questions on Capitol Hill about the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower where he met with Russian operatives after being promised dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.’