Don Jr. Defends Trump Tower Meeting: “I’m Allowed to Have a Conversation With People, Aren’t I?”

The president’s son didn’t want to talk about Russia.

Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr. speaks at a 2019 campaign rally in Cincinnati.John Minchillo/AP

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Mother Jones’ David Corn was eating breakfast on the campaign trail in Manchester, New Hampshire, Tuesday morning when Donald Trump Jr. walked into the diner. Corn took the opportunity to ask the president’s son about the infamous June 2016 Trump tower meeting, when Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer in an effort to obtain incriminating information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. In an email arranging the meeting, Trump Jr. had been told that this was “obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Why, Corn asked Trump Jr., had he agreed to meet with the Russian emissary?

 

“We’ve spoken about this a thousand times,” Trump Jr. responded. “I’ve testified about it, unlike Hunter Biden.”

When Corn pressed further, Trump Jr. added that he is “always happy to hear [what’s on] people’s minds. I’m allowed to have a conversation with people, aren’t I?”

“Of course you could do it,” Corn responded. “I’m asking why you thought it was appropriate to do it. Because you were told it was part of a Russian government effort to help the campaign.”

“No, he wasn’t told that,” replied Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is a Trump campaign adviser and Trump Jr.’s girlfriend.

But yes, he was.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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