Trump Jr. Russia email revelations spark fierce criticism, support

Some were shocked by the emails, which he released on social media.

July 11, 2017, 3:30 PM

— -- As with other controversial moments that have swirled around President Trump and his inner circle, reactions to Donald Trump Jr.'s release of what he says are screenshots of the full email chain allegedly arranging the meeting between him and a Russian attorney who claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton are split between supporters and critics of the administration.

President Trump said he applauds his son's transparency and called him a "high-quality person" in a statement read by White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Democrats expressed outrage after the release, with Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon saying in a bluntly worded statement that the "emails show there is no longer a question of whether this campaign sought to collude with a hostile foreign power to subvert America's democracy."

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said in a statement that today is a "sad day for our country."

"We must investigate. And we must act on our findings," he wrote.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., placed Donald Trump Jr.'s tweet alongside a definition of "collusion" from the Merriam-Webster dictionary's Twitter feed.

"@MerriamWebster definition of #collusion: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose," Kennedy wrote.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, a member of the House Foreign Affairs and House Intelligence Committees, retweeted a post by Donald Trump Jr. and commented that the Russian government wanted to help the Trump campaign, there were Russian and American intermediaries involved and "the Trump family participated."

Norm Eisen, an ethics czar in Barack Obama's administration, called the meeting "deeply illegal" in one tweet and in another wrote, "I have worked on campaigns and as an election lawyer for decades; NEVER seen anything like this, &EVERY other campaign would have called FBI" after being contacted with such information.

Trump supporters have a different view

Pro-Trump media figures, as has often been the case with controversial stories that have dogged the administration this year, put a more positive spin on the release of Donald Trump Jr.'s emails — and also attempted to use the release to criticize Clinton.

Charlie Kirk, the executive director for Turning Point USA, a conservative group, attempted to defend Trump based on personal experience.

Mike Cernovich, a pro-Trump journalist and blogger, suggested that both sides were funded by foreign powers.

"Ukraine and Saudi Arabia wanted Hillary to win, they funded and supported her," he wrote. "Russia was pro-Trump. Yet media only focuses on one side."

Jack Posobiec, another pro-Trump pundit, also tried to turn the conversation to Clinton.

"Don Jr releases his own emails and the media loses their minds. Hillary deleted 33,000 emails and the media tells us not to worry about it," he wrote.

And Gateway Pundit, a right-wing blog, appeared to find the emails exculpatory, writing that the "entire story is another big nothingburger."

But Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., disagreed, saying that the emails released by Donald Trump Jr. show that the meeting "is a big no-no."

ABC News' Evan McMurry contributed to this report.

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