Donald Trump Jr. told Congress that he does not remember discussing with his father the infamous 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower before news of it broke last year, according to testimony released Wednesday.
“Obviously he’s aware of it now because he’s read it, it’s been in the papers, but that’s the extent of my knowledge of his knowledge of it,” the president’s son told the Senate Judiciary Committee during closed-door testimony in September.
Asked whether he spoke with his father immediately after the session, Trump Jr. said he did not.
“I wouldn’t have wasted his time with it,” he said, explaining that he took the meeting because he was told a Russian lawyer had dirt on Hillary Clinton that never materialized. Trump Jr. also told the committee that he did not know if his father was involved in the drafting of a statement about the meeting in July 2017 that critics have said was misleading. “I never spoke to my father about it,” he told the committee.
In his testimony, Trump Jr. gave his account of the meeting in a prepared statement and then answered follow-up questions, frequently saying he could not recall details. He was asked whether he “or anyone else” had encouraged Russians to hack Clinton’s emails — which his father had done in July 2016, generating headlines — Trump Jr. said he himself had not.
“I don’t remember if anyone else did,” the president’s son said.
He also said his father has never expressed to him any frustration with the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.