Trump Jr. spends nearly 8 hours with House committee, bickers over comparison with Clinton's Benghazi testimony

PHOTO: Donald Trump Jr., son of President-elect Donald Trump, walks from the elevator at Trump Tower in New York, Nov. 16, 2016. PlayCarolyn Kaster/AP, File
WATCH Donald Trump Jr. grilled by members of the House Intelligence Committee

Donald Trump Jr.'s interview Wednesday with the House Intelligence Committee mainly focused on three areas, sources with knowledge of the interview told ABC News: the June 2016 meeting between Trump, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian attorney; Trump's conversations with WikiLeaks; and past business by the Trump Organization.

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At one point, hours into the meeting, multiple sources told ABC News that Trump's lawyers asked how many more questions the committee had. The sources said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., replied that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had sat for 11 hours when she was questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., as part of the Benghazi investigation and they were nowhere near that point. It was then that Trump, per the sources, said Clinton's testimony was not the same, since she was testifying about the 2012 attack in Libya, in which four Americans were killed.

Trump declined to discuss details of a conversation he told investigators he had with his father after reports about the Trump Tower meeting emerged, citing attorney-client privilege, according to the top Democrat on the panel.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif speaks to media after a House Intelligence Committee meeting where President Donald Trumps oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was interviewed behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.The Associated Press
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif speaks to media after a House Intelligence Committee meeting where President Donald Trump's oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was interviewed behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

PHOTO: House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, center, Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., right, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left, after House Intelligence Committee meeting where Donald Trump Jr., was interviewed, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, center, Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., right, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left, after House Intelligence Committee meeting where Donald Trump Jr., was interviewed, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

The sources told ABC News that the committee's questions focused on what information was exchanged during the 2016 Trump Tower meeting in New York City, and Trump indicated the short gathering did not produce any information and ended quickly.

Sources said Trump told investigators he spoke with his father after reports surfaced about the controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. He also told the committee he initially discussed a response with Hope Hicks, a top campaign aide now serving as White House communications director, according to a committee source.

Pressed by Democrats for further details about those conversations, Trump insisted conversations with his father were privileged, sources in the room said. "They stuck to their position that they were not going to share any conversations that Donald Trump Jr. had with his father about the June 9 meeting," Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told CNN Wednesday night.

Donald Trump Jr., stands in an elevator at Trump Tower in New York, Jan. 18, 2017. Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Getty Images, file
Donald Trump Jr., stands in an elevator at Trump Tower in New York, Jan. 18, 2017.

Committee Democrats subsequently questioned the legitimacy of Trump's privilege claim and raised the possibility of seeking a subpoena to compel him to answer.

"The only category of question the he declined to answer were, with respect to any discussion with his father about the June 9 meeting, after the emails had been disclosed publicly," Schiff told ABC News's Pierre Thomas after the interview. "Counsel made a claim of attorney-client privilege. In my view, this is a central communication about a very pivotal meeting and a conversation between father and son is not subject to the attorney-client privilege. So we intend to persist and make sure we get answers to that question."

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, left, and other members arrive to meet with Donald Trump Jr., behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.The Associated Press
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, left, and other members arrive to meet with Donald Trump Jr., behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

PHOTO: Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., left, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., leave a House Intelligence Committee meeting as it breaks for a House floor vote from interviewing Donald Trump Jr., on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., left, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., leave a House Intelligence Committee meeting as it breaks for a House floor vote from interviewing Donald Trump Jr., on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington.

It's unclear if Republicans who control the committee will join that push.

Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, one of the Republicans leading the probe, said the interview was "professional" and described Trump as "cooperative at all times."

Trump was also asked about his communications with WikiLeaks after the company reached out to him via Twitter toward the end of the campaign. According to the sources familiar with his testimony, he said his communications were limited to messages exchanged via Twitter and went no further. A Republican source added that Trump was asked about some Trump Organization business going back decades and at times based on old news reports about his father.

The meeting, which lasted just under eight hours, was the longest meeting Trump Jr. has had before a congressional committee. He met with the Senate Judiciary Committee for several hours in September.

The sources added that Trump was questioned by members, with limited exceptions, a majority of whom were Democrats.

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