Dean James at Right Wing Tribune
President Trump slammed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s decision to subpoena his son, Donald Trump Jr. to testify before the panel.
Trump was asked about the subpoena issued to Trump Jr. in the Oval Office as part of the committee’s Russia investigation.
“I was very surprised. I saw [Chairman Richard] Burr saying there was no collusion two or three weeks ago,” Trump said. “I was very surprised to see my son—my son is a good person, he works hard. The last thing he needs is Washington, D.C. He’d rather not be involved.”
“My son is a good person. He testified for hours and hours. My son was totally exonerated by Mueller who doesn’t like Trump, me,” Trump continued. “And for my son, after being exonerated to now get a subpoena to speak again after telling everyone about a nothing meeting, I’m pretty surprised.”
“I’m just very surprised. I really am,” he said.
President Trump says he’s "very surprised" by subpoena of Donald Trump Jr.:
“My son's a good person. Works very hard. The last thing he needs is Washington, DC." pic.twitter.com/Cx0usB5aTG
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 9, 2019
The committee reportedly wants to ask Trump Jr. about his previous testimony regarding the Trump Organization’s negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump Jr. has also faced intense scrutiny over a meeting he accepted at Trump Tower in New York City in June 2016 with a group of Russians who claimed to have information on Hillary Clinton’s activities in Russia, The Daily Caller News Foundation reports.
The president was asked whether he would block his son from complying with the subpoena, after last month vowing to fight “all” subpoenas issued to administration officials and individuals close to him, Fox News reports.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump replied.
The committee, led by Republican Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Ranking Member Mark Warner, D-Va., has been investigating Russian interference for the last two years. Burr and Warner issued the subpoena over remarks Trump Jr. made while testifying before the panel in 2017.
The committee’s demand to have Trump Jr. testify again reportedly is related to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony earlier this year. Cohen, who reported to prison this week to begin a three-year sentence, told a House committee that he had briefed Trump Jr. approximately 10 times about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
But in 2017, Trump Jr. told the Senate Intelligence Committee he was only “peripherally aware” of the proposal.
Trump Jr. has testified before congressional committees multiple times as part of their Russia investigations. Trump Jr. first fell under scrutiny in the early summer of 2017, after it was revealed that he helped to organize, and then attend, a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower in New York City. The meeting was initially billed as one where Trump Jr. and members of the Trump campaign could obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton for their benefit in the 2016 election. The meeting apparently did not reveal any dirt on Clinton, but Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort attended the June 2016 meeting. Special Counsel Robert Mueller also investigated the meeting.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also blasted Burr and Warner’s decision to subpoena Trump Jr.
.@DonaldJTrumpJr has already spent dozens of hours testifying in front of Congressional committees. Endless investigations–by either party–won’t change the fact that there was NO collusion. It’s time to move on. It’s time to focus on ISSUES, not investigations,” McCarthy tweeted Wednesday.
.@DonaldJTrumpJr has already spent dozens of hours testifying in front of Congressional committees. Endless investigations—by either party—won't change the fact that there was NO collusion. It's time to move on. It’s time to focus on ISSUES, not investigations. https://t.co/fbFH5uMLUz
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 8, 2019
President Trump noted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigated the meeting but declined prosecution.
“The Mueller report came out — that’s the Bible — the Mueller report came out and they said he did nothing wrong,” said Trump.
Trump also seemed to defend his son’s decision to accept the meeting on the grounds that he was seeking standard opposition research.
The committee’s subpoena caught many Republicans off guard because of Chairman Burr’s recent remarks regarding the lack of evidence his committee has found regarding collusion with the Russian government.
Burr also recently downplayed Democrats’ claims that Trump Jr. and other Trump associates lied to Congress. Burr told The Washington Post on Tuesday that since Mueller had access to transcripts of congressional testimony, he must have determined that Trump Jr. and other witnesses’ testimonies “weren’t criminal or they weren’t chargeable.”