On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. admitted to Senate investigators that he set up a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June of 2016 because he was interested in getting information about Hillary Clinton to determine her “fitness” to be president.
“To the extent they had information concerning the fitness, character or qualifications of a presidential candidate, I believed that I should at least hear them out,” he said. “Depending on what, if any, information they had, I could then consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration.”
However, over the course of five hours of being questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump Jr. continued to insist that nothing came of the meeting and that he had not colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the election.
He also denied speaking to his father, President Donald Trump, about his draft statement, saying he did not want to involve Trump in something he “knew nothing about.”
Trump Jr. also spoke about the campaign, saying that it completely consumed his life: “I had never worked on a campaign before, and it was an exhausting, all-encompassing, life-changing experience. Every single day I fielded dozens, if not hundreds, of emails and phone calls.”
Democrats have still insisted that they expect Trump Jr. to testify in a public hearing in front of a committee, though it is not clear whether Trump Jr. has agreed to that kind of testimony, and the committee’s chairman, Charles E. Grassley, a Republican senator from Iowa, has not indicated whether it will happen.