Donald Trump Jr. said Tuesday that in hindsight he "probably would have done things a little differently" regarding his controversial meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised to give him dirt on his father’s campaign opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 presidential race.
In his first public interview since publishing his exchange concerning Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya on Twitter earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s eldest son repeated that the meeting was a "waste of time" and again downplayed its significance and the extent to which he believed the information he’d be attaining would be credible.
"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," Trump Jr. said speaking to Fox News host and outspoken Trump supporter Sean Hannity during an interview set to air at 10 p.m. Tuesday. "Someone sent me an email. I can’t help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly."
He added: "It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame."
Trump Jr. and the White House have been ensnared in controversy since the New York Times published a report detailing the existence of the meeting between Trump’s son and Veselnitskaya on Saturday.
Trump Jr., who released a statement earlier Tuesday defending his decision to take a meeting with the Russian lawyer, along with screenshots of the exchange, painted the interaction as routine opposition research done throughout the course of a political campaign.
“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,” he said. “But really it went nowhere and it was apparent that wasn’t what the meeting was about."
He also cited the chaotic pace of the campaign trail as reasoning behind his decision to take the meeting.
"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," he told Hannity.
The White House broke their silence on the scandal Tuesday, with President Donald Trump calling his son a “high-quality person” and applauding “his transparency” in releasing the contents of his conversation regarding the meeting with Veselnitskaya, according to a statement read by deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at an off-camera press briefing.