Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday said Donald Trump Jr.’s emails setting up a meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised to have compromising information on Hillary Clinton are “disturbing” and “very problematic.”
“That email is disturbing,” Graham said on MSNBC. “I know Donald Trump Jr. is new to politics, I know that Jared Kushner is new to politics, but this is going to require a lot of questions to be asked and answered.”
Though Trump Jr. and Kushner, who both attended the meeting in June 2016, were political naïfs, veteran Republican operative Paul Manafort was also present at the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Trump Jr. on Tuesday released what he said was the entire email chain leading up to his meeting with Veselnitskaya, whom Trump family acquaintance Rob Goldstone identified as a “Russian government attorney” with information that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Graham said Trump Jr. will “definitely” need to testify about the meeting.
“Any time you’re in a campaign and you get offered from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is no,” he said. “So I don’t know what Mr. Trump Jr.’s version of the facts are. Definitely he has to testify.”
Graham said he found it “odd” that Veselnitskaya apparently had “absolutely nothing” in terms of the alleged damaging information Trump Jr. was promised.
“I don’t know why they would pick somebody for him to meet with who didn’t have any information about the Clinton campaign, but on its face, this is very problematic,” he said. “We cannot allow foreign governments to reach out to anybody’s campaign and say, ‘We’d like to help you.’ That is a nonstarter.”
Asked about the veracity of the White House’s accounts of meetings between President Donald Trump’s associates and Russians, Graham added: “It’s very frustrating for every couple of weeks to find out about a new meeting.”