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Screengrab via Fox News

Donald Trump Jr. spoke to Fox News' Sean Hannity in his first interview since releasing emails which revealed that, prior to taking a meeting with a Russian lawyer, he had been told the Russian government wanted to share information to help his father win. Transcript via Fox News:

On whether he would have done things differently: "In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently. Again this is before the Russia mania, this is before they were building this up in the press. For me this was opposition research, they had something you know maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I'd been hearing about, probably under reported for years not just during the campaign 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."

On why he decided to take the meeting with the Russian lawyer:

"Honestly, my take away when all of this was going on, is that someone has information on our opponent. Things are going a million miles per hour. You know what it's like to be on a campaign. We just won Indiana, but we're talking about a contested convention. Things are going a million miles per hour again and hey, wait a minute, I've hear about all these things, but maybe this is something, I should hear him out."

On whether he read the emails:

"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. I mean this was her perhaps involvement with the Russian government…so, you know, again, 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, and if there was something interesting there, I think that's pretty common."

On whether he told his father about the meeting:

"No. It was just a nothing. There was nothing to tell. I mean, I wouldn't have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff. It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame."

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.