In an effort to smooth things over after releasing bombshell emails he exchanged regarding potentially working with a Russian government official in order to help his father’s campaign, Donald Trump Jr. appeared on Sean Hannity‘s show Tuesday night to discuss the matter. But while the President’s son was trying to spin the situation the right way, he may have just made things more difficult for himself.
Here are just a few of the statements that could indicate this story may not be the “nothing burger” the Trump camp would have you believe.
- “I wanted to hear him out.”
This was Donald Jr.’s way of trying to say he didn’t have any nefarious plans, he was just curious as to what kind of information was out there on Clinton. Unfortunately for him, it’s also a flat out admission of an interest in collusion. Someone approached him saying the Russian government supports the Trump campaign and one of their officials wants to give damaging information on Clinton. Trump Jr.’s explanation of the situation basically means, “I was interested in doing business with the Russians if they could be helpful.”
2. “This is pre-Russia fever … at the time, it wasn’t this big news story.”
This certainly doesn’t help the situation. Trump Jr. was saying that at the time of the email exchange, people weren’t talking about Russia the way they are now. This either means that a) he thought he’d get away with it because no one was thinking about Russian involvement at the time, or b) he was honestly unaware that Vladimir Putin was a bad guy and therefore had no problem getting involved with him or his people. Either way, it’s not a denial of wrongdoing, it’s just a flimsy excuse for not realizing that this sort of thing is frowned upon.
3. “I will,” in response to Hannity asking, “Did you hand over any and all documents” related to this.
Hannity played a clip of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer demanding that Trump Jr. turn over any and all documents that investigators seek related to this. Hannity asked him, “Did you hand over any and all documents?” Trump’s response? “I will.”
This implies that there’s more. Of course less than a minute later, Hannity said, “As far as you know, as far as this incident’s concerned, this is all of it,” to which Trump replied, “This is everything.”
Watch for media types and politicians to obsess over this one. First, Trump says he will turn over everything, then he says that the emails he released are everything. But wait, Hannity was very careful with his question. He was specifically referring to “this incident.” Critics will jump on this and wonder about possible other incidents.
There’s one more tidbit that doesn’t mean much for Trump Jr. as much as President Donald Trump himself. Hannity asked POTUS’ son if he ever told his father about this communication and meeting with Russia, and Don Jr. didn’t answer the question.
“It was such a nothing, there was nothing to tell,” he said. If the President of the United States was aware during his campaign that his representatives were looking into working with the Russians, that would blow this whole thing open, and when asked about it, Trump Jr. didn’t exactly deny it.
While these statements on their own aren’t damning evidence that Donald Jr. or others in the campaign committed crimes, this interview was meant to clear the air and answer any questions that people might have had about this situation. Instead, it just raised a whole bunch more.
[Image via Fox News screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.