Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Monday said Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting in 2016 with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton was actually not a big deal because, according to Conway, nothing came of it.
“Some of the disclosure forms have been amended since that time, and to reflect other meetings, including this one,” Conway said. “No information was received that was meaningful or helpful, and no action was taken. There was no follow-up whatsoever.”
She said Trump Jr.’s pursuit of the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was not an attempt at collusion.
Conway cited remarks by ABC News’ Cecilia Vega and other press reports diminishing the significance of the meeting, though she has previously complained about “unfair and incomplete” coverage of Trump’s administration.
“There’s no evidence of collusion,” Conway claimed.
“That is not what Cecilia Vega said. Cecilia Vega was asked about that yesterday morning. That was before Don Jr. admitted that he sought the meeting to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton,” Stephanopoulos interrupted. “He changed his story.”
“Are you saying that there’s evidence of collusion? Because everybody’s trying to convert wishful thinking into hard evidence and they haven’t been able to do that,” Conway retorted.
“Why did the administration allow these denials to stand for so many months?” Stephanopoulos pressed, referring to the White House’s denial that any members of Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials or representatives.
“The people involved in the meeting could answer those questions better for you,” Conway said. “Don Jr. came forth this weekend and gave more information about the meeting.”
“After denying it!” Stephanopoulos shot back.
“We have many different meetings in a campaign. Some of them are unhelpful and not particularly meaningful. I’m sure you can relate to that,” Conway replied.
“He was seeking the damaging information,” Stephanopoulos pressed. “How was that appropriate?”
“He was told that there would be information that may be helpful to the campaign. There was no such information,” Conway repeated.
“I wasn’t in the meeting,” she added at the end of the interview. “I wasn’t in the meeting.”
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