President Donald Trump stayed relatively quiet on Twitter Tuesday as controversy surrounded his son, Donald Trump Jr. The president released a brief statement through his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency,” the message said. Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning for a more full-throated defense of his son.
Trump Jr. released several emails on Twitter Tuesday detailing his willingness to meet with a Russian lawyer for dirt on the Hillary Clinton campaign, despite the emails stating the info was part of a concerted effort for the Kremlin to help his father in the 2016 presidential election.
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The move was prompted by a New York Times report that revealed a June 2016 meeting took place between a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties, Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager at the time.
“My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent. This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!” said Trump on Twitter Wednesday morning.
Trump was referring to Trump Jr.’s appearance on the “Hannity,” a Fox talk show hosted by Sean Hannity, who has historically been friendly to the Trumps and hostile to the media. Trump also referred to ongoing investigations by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and the Justice Department via a special prosecutor into connections between his campaign and Russia as a witch hunt.
“(I) probably would have done things a little differently,” Trump Jr. said Tuesday night on “Hannity” looking at the affair in retrospect. “This (was) pre-Russia fever. This (was) pre-Russia mania. I don’t think my sirens went (off) or my antenna went up at this time because it wasn’t the issue that it’s been made out to be over the last nine months, ten months.”
Trump and his son both lashed out at news organizations for their ongoing coverage. Trump shot out two more tweets Wednesday morning aimed at the media.
“Remember, when you hear the words ‘sources say’ from the Fake Media, often times those sources are made up and do not exist. @WashTimes (Washington Times) states, ‘Democrats have willfully used Moscow disinformation to influence the presidential election against Donald Trump,’” said Trump.
Trump also went after one of his favorite targets, Clinton.
“Why aren’t the same standards placed on the Democrats. Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!” the president tweeted.
The June 2016 emails were relatively explicit in their goals
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” read one email to Trump Jr. from Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid writer, publicist and friend of the Trump family.
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Trump Jr. replied with enthusiasm, writing, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
The bodies investigating the connections between Trump and Russia will have a new wrinkle to smooth out as public pressure around the administration mounts.