The controversy surrounding Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election took a major turn in July, when it was reported and later confirmed that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian attorney during the campaign in the hopes of receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton. This has put the president's son front and center in the Russia scandal, and the timeline of Trump Jr. quotes about Russia shows that his official position on the matter has evolved significantly over time.
After The New York Times broke the story of the meeting, Trump Jr. himself released the email exchange that led him to meet with the attorney in question, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in the summer of 2016. In the emails, Trump Jr. was told that Veselnitskaya would give him incriminating info on Hillary Clinton as a part of the Russian government's "support for Trump." "If it's what you say I love it," Trump Jr. replied.
But Trump Jr. had been talking about Russia long before that meeting. As far back as 2008, he has spoken about the Trump Organization's financial connections to Russia, and in the heat of the 2016 campaign, he denied having met with any Russians as a representative of his father's campaign. After releasing the emails, however, Trump Jr. acknowledged that he was meeting with Veselnitskaya to obtain "opposition research" on Clinton.
Trump Jr. has said a lot of things about Russia over the years, so here are some of his most memorable comments organized by date:
At a real estate conference, global travel trade publication eTurboNews reported that Trump Jr. said:
June 24, 2016
In an interview with CNN regarding allegations that Russia hacked and released emails from the Democratic National Committee, Trump Jr. said:
During an interview with The New York Times, Trump Jr. said:
June 6, 2017
Trump Jr. said during an interview on Good Morning America:
June 8, 2017
Trump Jr. claimed during an interview on Fox News:
July 8, 2017
Both Jr & Trump put out carefully worded statements—Trump didn't know of or attend meeting. When exactly was he told of Russia's outreach? pic.twitter.com/ec7RdIyCRM— Paula Chertok🗽 (@PaulaChertok) July 10, 2017
Trump Jr. wrote the following in his first official statement about the meeting with the Russian attorney:
July 9, 2017
Trump wrote in his second official statement on the meeting:
July 10, 2017
Trump Jr. also released a third statement on the meeting, saying:
July 12, 2017
Asked whether he pressed the Russian attorney for info on Clinton, Trump Jr. told Fox News:
Trump Jr. is set to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russia, but not under oath or in public. Though his statements confirm he initially withheld information about his meeting with Veselnitskaya, they do nothing to suggest he has never been anything but friendly to the adversarial country.