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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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