Trump Jr. admits of meeting with Russian lawyer, 'I probably would have done things a little differently'

In an interview with Fox News, he describes the meeting as "nothing."

ByABC News
July 11, 2017, 11:00 PM

— -- Donald Trump Jr. expressed regret for how he handled his meeting with a Russian attorney last year, telling Fox News' Sean Hannity in an interview airing Tuesday night that he "probably would have done things a little differently."

Earlier in the day, Trump released screenshots of a chain of emails documenting the arrangement of the meeting with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in which he was told by an associate that she had information that would "incriminate" his father's Democratic rival in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton.

Critics of the president pointed to the emails as evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians intent on interfering in the election.

During his interview on "Hannity," Donald Trump Jr. admitted the situation may have been mishandled, but he said that the meeting was "a nothing" and maintained that his father had had no knowledge of the encounter.

"There was nothing to tell," said Donald Trump Jr. "I wouldn't have even remembered it until you started scouring through stuff. It was literally just a waste of 20 minutes, which is a shame."

"I had been reading about scandals that people were probably underreporting for a long time, so maybe it was something that had to do with one of those things," he continued. "I didn't know if there was any credibility. I didn't know if there was anything behind it. I can't vouch for the information. Someone sent me an email ... I read it. I responded accordingly."

Portraying his acceptance of the meeting with Veselnitskaya as a "courtesy to an acquaintance," Trump did not rule out the possibility that he had other meetings with people from Russia during the campaign but "not in the context of a formalized meeting."

He boiled down the encounter to a strategic decision in the course of the campaign.

"For me, this was opposition research. They had something, you know, maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I'd been hearing about ... so I think I wanted to hear it out," said Trump. "But really, it went nowhere, and it was apparent that wasn't what the meeting was about."

Trump confirmed details of the meeting disclosed by Veselnitskaya in an interview with NBC earlier on Tuesday, including that his father's then–campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had minimal involvement in the matter.

Asked by Hannity whether anyone else ever approached him with the offer of information about Clinton, Trump said that the June meeting was the only instance. He further offered his opinion on the widespread criticism he has faced this week.

"I think it's a little bit ridiculous and overplayed," he said.

Still, Trump said he would be willing to hand over any material related to the meeting and cooperate with any probes.

Hannity asked, "Did you hand over any and all documents?"

Trump responded, "I will ... More than happy to cooperate with everyone. I just want the truth to get out there ... I'm more than happy to be transparent about [the meeting], and I'm more than happy to cooperate with everyone."

Hannity said, "That means you'll testify under oath, all of that?"

Trump replied, "All of it."

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