- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
- In closed-door testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee released Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. explained his infamous “if it’s what you say I love it” response to music publicist Rob Goldstone in an email exchange preceding a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer.
- Goldstone said Russia could provide dirt on 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
- Trump Jr. said in his testimony that the “love it” comment was simply a “colloquial term used to say, ‘Hey, great, thank you.'”
Donald Trump Jr. explained in congressional testimony his infamous response to an email from music publicist Rob Goldstone in the days leading up to a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer.
The response was a part of Trump Jr.’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which the committee released Wednesday as a part of roughly 2,000 pages of documents stemming from closed-door interviews about the controversial Trump Tower meeting, which featured a mix of Russians and Trump campaign officials.
In the days preceeding the meeting, Goldstone, who helped organize the meeting, wrote to Trump Jr. in an email – which President Donald Trump’s eldest son would release last year after the meeting was first reported – that “The Crown prosecutor of Russia… offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”
- Rob Goldstone/Facebook
Goldstone also wrote that the information “is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. responded to Goldstone on the chain, “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
When asked by lawmakers what he meant by that email, Trump Jr. said he was using a “colloquial term used to say, ‘Hey, great, thank you.'”
Trump Jr. added he had “a lot of stuff” on his plate at the time and “didn’t want to deal with anything right now.”
“As much as some have made of the phrase ‘I love it,’ it was simply a colloquial way of saying that I appreciated Rob’s gesture,” Trump Jr. said.
On Wednesday, Trump Jr. responded to the committee’s document release in a statement.
“I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry,” Trump Jr. said in a statement provided to Business Insider. “The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee.”
The June 2016 meeting – attended by Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort – was presented as a chance for the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to provide the Trump team with damaging information about Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
After the meeting was disclosed publicly last year, Trump Jr. initially said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss Russian adoption policy. But the story began to shift in subsequent days. Trump Jr. eventually released emails between him and Goldstone, the music publicist who had connections to Veselnitskaya through a Russian musician and businessman.
Trump Jr. has said Veselnitskaya did not ultimately provide damaging information on Clinton. It was later reported that President Donald Trump was involved with crafting one of his son’s responses to news reports of the meeting.