On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump backed his son, Donald Trump Jr., via his favorite medium, Twitter. The president said Trump Jr. was "transparent and innocent" and did a "good job" on Fox News' Hannity on Tuesday night, where the First Son defended himself from accusations of Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign.
"My son Donald did a good job last night. He was open, transparent and innocent," wrote Trump, before dismissing the Russian collusion narrative: "This is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history. Sad!”
Trump Jr. admitted to taking a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to potentially gain opposition research on his father's then-opponent Hillary Clinton. Spoiling a New York Times story in the works, Trump Jr. released emails concerning the meeting via his Twitter account. Within the correspondence, Trump Jr. was falsely told that the alleged dirt on Clinton was part of "Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump." The first son responded in part, "if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
President Trump followed up the tweet of support with another message: be skeptical of anonymous sourcing from the "Fake Media."
"Remember, when you hear the words 'sources say' from the Fake Media, often times those sources are made up and do not exist," he wrote.
During his appearance on Hannity, Trump Jr. denied any nefarious action concerning his meeting with Veselnitskaya, but said he "probably would have done things a little differently" if he had the chance. The meeting took place pre-Russian hysteria from the media, he pointedly noted.
"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 explained. "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 can’t help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly."
"For me this was opposition research," Trump Jr. continued. "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. But really it went nowhere and it was apparent that wasn’t what the meeting was about."
The meeting, which was also attended by White House aide Jared Kushner and then-campaign chair Paul Manafort, "was literally just a wasted 20 minutes," said Trump Jr., "which was a shame."
"I think in the grand scheme of the hysteria that’s been talked about over the last eight, nine, ten months with Russia, things are probably different than they were 13 months ago," Trump Jr. told host Sean Hannity at the end of his appearance. "In retrospect, I know more now, but hindsight’s always 20-20."
As noted by Fox News, the released emails "contain no evidence that the president’s son was informed of the larger alleged Russian effort to meddle in the U.S. presidential election."
Further, as explained by The Daily Wire, on Tuesday, none of Trump Jr.'s actions thus far have been lawbreaking.
President Trump also defended his son on Tuesday, via a statement, calling Trump Jr. "a high quality person."