Zeroing in on the nepotistic White House. Fasten your seat belts!
[I]Trump Jr has already come under scrutiny for answers he gave the Senate judiciary committee during an interview in September 2017. When asked if any foreign governments other than Russia’s offered or provided assistance to the Trump campaign, Trump Jr replied: “None that I’m aware of.” Asked if any foreign nationals had done so, he said: “No.”
But in May this year, the New York Times reported that a representative for the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered their assistance in the presidential election during a meeting with Trump Jr in New York in August 2016. A lawyer for Trump Jr confirmed the meeting took place.
Following the report, Senator Chris Coons of Delaware said it appeared Trump Jr had “provided false testimony” to the Senate and that he should be recalled to answer more questions. But the committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, rejected Coons’s request and said there were “potentially innocuous explanations” for any contradictions between Trump Jr’s testimony and the Times report.
Even on the day Trump Jr’s testimony was made public, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, said: “I have no confidence that he has told the whole truth”.
Trump Jr has denied any wrongdoing. Alan Futerfas, an attorney for the Trump Organization, did not respond to an email seeking comment. He has previously said Trump Jr’s testimony to Congress was totally truthful.
The August 2016 meeting was reportedly arranged by Erik Prince, the former military contractor and brother of Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos. Prince also attended the meeting.
Yet Prince told the House intelligence committee in November last year he played “no official or, really, unofficial role” in the Trump campaign and had no formal communications with the campaign beyond sending foreign policy papers to Steve Bannon, Trump’s former strategist.
Professor Ryan Goodman of New York University, a former special counsel at the US defense department, said that Prince’s testimony “looks a lot like perjury” in light of the disclosure of his meeting with Trump Jr and the emissary for Gulf leaders.
Prince also omitted to mention the meeting when asked by a Democratic committee member when he had met Trump Jr. Prince cited only “a campaign event” before the election and “a couple of times” during the transition following Trump’s election victory in November 2016.
A lawyer for Prince, Thomas Dunlap, did not respond to an email seeking comment.[/I]