May 16, 2018

Senate releases transcripts from Trump Tower meeting probe

Donald Trump Jr. (R) walks to a closed door meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee released 1,800 pages of interview transcripts from Donald Trump Jr.'s testimony about a controversial meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 with a Russian lawyer who has since admitted to working with the Kremlin.

Why it matters: The meeting has become a focal point of Robert Mueller's investigation.

Key findings from the transcripts:

  • Trump Jr. said he didn't know if his father was involved in drafting the statement about the meeting: "I never spoke to my father about it." He said the president "may have commented through Hope Hicks."
  • He said Hicks asked him if he wanted to talk to the president about the statement, but "I chose not to because I didn't want to bring him into something that he had nothing to do with."
  • He said his email to Rob Goldstone — "I love it" — was "simply a colloquial way of saying that I appreciated Rob's gesture."
  • Trump Jr. said he was "skeptical" of the meeting all along, and "my skepticism was justified" because "the meeting provided no meaningful information."

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Trump to end Hong Kong’s special trade status

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. would be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy.

Why it matters: Trump said he would be effectively ending the special trade status that has allowed Hong Kong to flourish as a gateway to the Chinese market. That leaves an uncertain future for businesses that operate in Hong Kong, not to mention the city's 7 million residents, and could be met with reprisals from Beijing.