Following the stunning revelation on Tuesday that Donald Trump, Jr. willingly met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of the Russian government’s efforts to help his father’s presidential campaign, Trump Jr. tried to downplay the meeting during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Hannity, an unabashed defender of the Trump administration, asked Trump Jr. to address accusations that he was willing to collude with Russia.
In response, Trump Jr. told the Fox News host that “politics is a dirty game.”
“I think it’s a little bit ridiculous and overplayed,” he said of both media coverage of his meeting with the Russian lawyer and the various investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, knocking the press for “picking sides so flagrantly.”
Trump Jr. published emails on Tuesday revealing that publicist and friend of the family Rob Goldstone offered to set up a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” who supposedly had “documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.” Goldstone told Trump Jr. that the information was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. told Hannity that had the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had incriminating information on Hillary Clinton, he would have alerted the appropriate authorities. But he dismissed the meeting as a waste of time and a favor to a friend.
Asked if Goldstone’s note that the information was part of a Russian government effort to help his father raised any red flags, Trump Jr. replied, “Honestly, I don’t know.” He added that the meeting took place “pre-Russia fever.”
Trump Jr. also told Hannity that he “probably met with other people from Russia” but seemed unsure.
The Fox News host gave Trump Jr. another opportunity to bash the media and its coverage of the Russia probes.
“I think the mainstream media has done themselves a pretty big disservice by going so far, by going so extreme, by being so sensational. And I think it’s pushing regular people away,” Trump Jr. said later in the interview.