“In a statement, Trump Jr. acknowledged that the meeting took place, and was arranged at the request of an acquaintance he did not name. ‘After pleasantries were exchanged,’ he said, ‘the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.’ He added that ‘the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.’
Trump Jr. may not fully appreciate the significance of that statement.
One of the key questions in the Trump-Russia scandal is whether, and to what extent, the campaign may have cooperated with Russians during the attack on the American election. For Trump Jr. to join Kushner and Manafort for a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in the hopes of obtaining damaging information about Hillary Clinton looks quite a bit like collusion.
In his statement, Trump Jr. is dismissive of the meeting, saying Natalia Veselnitskaya had nothing of interest to share. But in the process, he also effectively confirms the accuracy of the report: the point of the meeting was to obtain Clinton-related information from a Russian national.
In other words, Trump Jr., who now appears to have been caught lying about the meeting, had a specific motivation that led him to participate in the conversation: he wanted Clinton-related dirt from Moscow and was willing to accept it during the campaign. That conclusion doesn’t require any great leaps; for all intents and purposes, he’s admitted as much in print.
The argument from Trump Jr. is, in effect, that he tried to collude with a Russian national and was disappointed when the information wasn’t useful – which sounds more like a confession than a defense."