GOP Sen.: Trump Jr. Meeting Russian For Clinton Dirt Is ‘A Great Big Nothing’

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Nothing to see here.

That was the reaction Monday from Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) to news that Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner met in June 2016 with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer who promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

“I do not think the American people are going to be horrified by this, and I agree with Donald Trump Jr.,” Wicker said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “He was told that there was some information unfavorable to their general election opponent. He went to a meeting and it turns out there wasn’t much there and instead the Russian attorney wanted to talk about the Magnitsky Act and Russian adoptions. It was a pretty quick meeting and he concluded that it didn’t amount to much.”

“I just think that’s pretty much of a great big nothing when it comes to whether there was some sort of collusion between Russia and general election campaign organizations,” Wicker said.

Blitzer asked Wicker if he would have attended a similar meeting, with someone Donald Trump Jr. claimed was an unknown person promising dirt on a political opponent.

Wicker noted that then-candidate Donald Trump did not attend the meeting.

“I as a public official or candidate would not do that,” he said.

However, Wicker hedged, “if somebody on behalf of a campaign was told there was some information that might be of interest to the public, I just don’t think the American people are going to be up in arms that that meeting took place.”

Asked about some senators’ insistence that Donald Trump Jr. should answer their questions about the meeting, Wicker said that “if they want to ask questions, then I would listen to them, and look at the propriety of that.

“As asking a few questions, I don’t see the harm in it,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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