Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer responds to the report this weekend in the New York Times that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort had a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 by calling for Trump Jr. to testify, and suggesting that the report proves that President Trump is lying when he says he never had any motive to "collude" with the Russians.
CHUCK SCHUMER: A word on the revelation that President Trump's son, son-in-law, and campaign manager met with a lawyer with ties to the Kremlin under the pretext of discussing information that would be damaging to Sec. Clinton's campaign. This revelation should be the end of the idea that there is no evidence of intent by the Trump campaign to coordinate or collude [with Russia].
It is certainly not proof positive. We don't know what was said in the meeting. But these reports in the press at least demand further investigation.
In the height of a very very heated campaign, three people very close to the President and at the helm of that campaign, we’re all going to a meeting with the Russian lawyer to discuss Russian adoption. And indeed Donald Trump has now admitted — after he first said the purpose of the meeting was adoption — that he agreed to meet to get potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has already indicated that it will look into the possibility of coordination of collusion as part of their broader investigation. This meeting and the background behind it should be included in future document requests, and additional lines of inquiry. After providing documents to the intelligent committee Donald Trump Jr. must also testify before the committee to explain why three of the highest level members of the Trump administration thought it was appropriate to meet with a Russian source to receive any information about a political opponent. We’re talking about the well being and pride of our democracy -- free and fair elections without interference.
When a President of the United States is unwilling to forcibly defend our democracy. it's a violation of our sovereignty face to face with his chief adversary. When we continue to learn of additional meetings between his campaign and Russian sources. when we hear that the White House is actively working to water down or stall a bill of tough Russian sanctions, we in Congress need to step up and defend the vital interests of our country. Both parties should be united in that effort because at least for now the president seems unwilling to do so.