After a day that saw him battered like a Russian skiff on the North Atlantic, Donald Trump Jr. sailed into the calm harbor that is Sean Hannity’s nightly show on Fox News. In a lengthy interview, the first son sought to dispel suggestions that his meeting in June last year with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya constituted a grave breach of protocol, if not a federal crime.
During the interview, a subdued Trump Jr., his voice seemingly on the verge of breaking at times, deployed a quality not frequently used by members of the Trump family: contrition.
“'In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently,” Trump Jr. said. There was little evidence of the combative personality he frequently adopts on Twitter, as when he, for example, taunted the mayor of London after an attack in that city.
To many, however, the very notion that Kushner and Manafort were at the meeting was troubling. “This is treason,” tweeted Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush. “[Trump Jr.] must have known that the only way Russia would get such information was by spying.” Others, meanwhile, cited federal law that prevents political campaigns from taking contributions of any kind from foreign entities.
“It’s a shocking admission of a criminal conspiracy,” Cornell law professor Jens David Ohlin told Vox.
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