Dec 6, 2017, 11:51 PM ET

Trump Jr. spends nearly 8 hours with House committee, bickers over comparison with Clinton's Benghazi testimony

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Donald Trump Jr.'s interview Wednesday with the House Intelligence Committee mainly focused on three areas, sources with knowledge of the interview told ABC News: the June 2016 meeting between Trump, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian attorney; Trump's conversations with WikiLeaks; and past business by the Trump Organization.

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At one point, hours into the meeting, multiple sources told ABC News that Trump's lawyers asked how many more questions the committee had. The sources said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., replied that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had sat for 11 hours when she was questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., as part of the Benghazi investigation and they were nowhere near that point. It was then that Trump, per the sources, said Clinton's testimony was not the same, since she was testifying about the 2012 attack in Libya, in which four Americans were killed.

Trump declined to discuss details of a conversation he told investigators he had with his father after reports about the Trump Tower meeting emerged, citing attorney-client privilege, according to the top Democrat on the panel.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif speaks to media after a House Intelligence Committee meeting where President Donald Trumps oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was interviewed behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.The Associated Press
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif speaks to media after a House Intelligence Committee meeting where President Donald Trump's oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was interviewed behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

PHOTO: House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, center, Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., right, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left, after House Intelligence Committee meeting where Donald Trump Jr., was interviewed, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, center, Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., right, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left, after House Intelligence Committee meeting where Donald Trump Jr., was interviewed, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

The sources told ABC News that the committee's questions focused on what information was exchanged during the 2016 Trump Tower meeting in New York City, and Trump indicated the short gathering did not produce any information and ended quickly.

Sources said Trump told investigators he spoke with his father after reports surfaced about the controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. He also told the committee he initially discussed a response with Hope Hicks, a top campaign aide now serving as White House communications director, according to a committee source.

Pressed by Democrats for further details about those conversations, Trump insisted conversations with his father were privileged, sources in the room said. "They stuck to their position that they were not going to share any conversations that Donald Trump Jr. had with his father about the June 9 meeting," Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told CNN Wednesday night.

Donald Trump Jr., stands in an elevator at Trump Tower in New York, Jan. 18, 2017. Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Getty Images, file
Donald Trump Jr., stands in an elevator at Trump Tower in New York, Jan. 18, 2017.

Committee Democrats subsequently questioned the legitimacy of Trump's privilege claim and raised the possibility of seeking a subpoena to compel him to answer.

"The only category of question the he declined to answer were, with respect to any discussion with his father about the June 9 meeting, after the emails had been disclosed publicly," Schiff told ABC News's Pierre Thomas after the interview. "Counsel made a claim of attorney-client privilege. In my view, this is a central communication about a very pivotal meeting and a conversation between father and son is not subject to the attorney-client privilege. So we intend to persist and make sure we get answers to that question."

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, left, and other members arrive to meet with Donald Trump Jr., behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.The Associated Press
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, left, and other members arrive to meet with Donald Trump Jr., behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

PHOTO: Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., left, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., leave a House Intelligence Committee meeting as it breaks for a House floor vote from interviewing Donald Trump Jr., on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., left, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., leave a House Intelligence Committee meeting as it breaks for a House floor vote from interviewing Donald Trump Jr., on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington.

It's unclear if Republicans who control the committee will join that push.

Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, one of the Republicans leading the probe, said the interview was "professional" and described Trump as "cooperative at all times."

Trump was also asked about his communications with WikiLeaks after the company reached out to him via Twitter toward the end of the campaign. According to the sources familiar with his testimony, he said his communications were limited to messages exchanged via Twitter and went no further. A Republican source added that Trump was asked about some Trump Organization business going back decades and at times based on old news reports about his father.

The meeting, which lasted just under eight hours, was the longest meeting Trump Jr. has had before a congressional committee. He met with the Senate Judiciary Committee for several hours in September.

The sources added that Trump was questioned by members, with limited exceptions, a majority of whom were Democrats.

News - Trump Jr. spends nearly 8 hours with House committee, bickers over comparison with Clinton's Benghazi testimony

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CComments

  • Jackie

    Dear Santa, oops, I mean, Mr. Mueller, please please please hurry. I don’t think America can take much more of this abominable administration.

  • They call me Jose (Not!)

    Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, one of the Republicans leading the probe, said the interview was "professional" and described Trump as "cooperative at all times."

    Not answering questions is NOT being "cooperative at all times."

  • Leonard Collings

    8 Hrs of testifying over a 19 min meeting that people got up and walked away from after 10 min for lack of content. Witch hunt.

  • Art Jackson

    Of course there is no attorney client privilige. Lock him up for whatever the equvalent of contenpt of court would be for refusing to answer, AND for lying speciously.

  • Bert Jackson

    Like father like son...A Bad tree cannot produce good fruit.

  • caliento

    Geesh...Fake news tabloid FOX , Trump /Family & the gop just can't get over the Clintons? Same old, same old...isn't the base tired of this same old narrative?

  • Harriette Green

    trump Jj, is just like his father. However, I think Trump is stupid, Trump,Jr., has less intelligence than his daddy

  • Chris Peters

    Shiff " Your father is a Russian right??? Admit it!"
    Jr. : "No No No..he's German.....but what about Hillary....Hill....a..."
    Shiff : " What about your step mother????Does she Sprechen sie Rushkie???"
    Jr.:" No No....she's transylvanian...I think I dont know..wtf..but what about Hillary...what about Hill....."
    Shiff : " Junior...have you ever had Russian Goulash....?"
    Jr.: "no no no no no...what the H_ll..is that anyway? ..what about Hillary? What about Hillary????"
    That's how that went.

  • Bev Guyer

    His conversation with his father is not privileged. He is a coward, just like his father. Mueller is just playing with him, he already got his answers from Flynn, he just wanted to see how much Donnie would lie - just like he did with Kushner. It's going to be a Merry Christmas.

  • Night_Fury

    Why can't 45's offspring and son-in-law stay out of politics like the kids of 42, 43 and 44 did?

  • Bill Davis

    But, Hillary is all the Trump have for their lying and illegal behavior. The poorly educated elected a con man and traitor.

  • redsquirrel1

    Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, ect. ect.

  • Enki

    Toc tock

  • kritikosman

    This shows, and proves, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

  • SarcasTex

    Time to break out the ole water board, after all it's a useful tool in interrogation, questioning of suspects. I bet it wouldn't take more than a half pint to break baby Donnie.

  • Resurrected Smile

    Emails....how ironic.

  • Sassy

    Jr need his banky?

  • rplantlover

    Congress just needs to let Mueller do his job. I doubt he's going to leave any stone unturned.

  • ReadingIt

    I guess he's learning the downside of breaking the law...

  • Jay Cliest

    Here is a prophecy: "Gather your cymbals America, prepare the confetti, get ready to rejoice and dance and be filled with great joy, let the estactic dancers come forth, as I the Lord am prepared to remove this one out of your house of White light, I will deliever America from the apostate spirit of Jerry Fallwell Jr who has thrown you into dismay. This nasty one sitting in the Oval Office will soon be gone, prepare to flood the streets and rejoice, even more than the end of World War II, I will tolerate no more the wicked Jerry Fallwell Jr and his nasty President. I the Lord will restore your land."

  • pfon71361

    The multiple Congressional investigations are just the appetizers at this clambake. As if ensnaring a former major figure in the Trump administration, Michael Flynn, weren't enough, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is bound to go up the food chain. There's a lot to chew on too. Looking at suspicious meetings tied to Russian influence that Donald Trump Jr. or his agents may have made during last year's campaign is a morsel Mueller can't pass up. With Attorney General Sessions conveniently faulty memory regarding meetings with or about Russians and those presidential memos wanting FBI Director Comey to be dismissed, the main course has yet to be brought out. Justice, unlike revenge, is a dish best served while it's still simmering.

  • Sir Real

    Benghazi, Drink!

  • Timehascome

    Donald was asked about his sons questioning afterwards...and Donald replied:
    "Gaa Bleth Amarrikicaa!"
    (Dry Mouth)...White House Source Reported.
    As Pence looked onward towards his Master, from behind Trump Sr., at that Moment In Time...Pence saw *His Head* on that of an Angelic Body...looking towards the Light!
    (Wanna Bet??)
    Justice in Slo Mo folks...but it's picking up speed now :-)

  • E’Clair

    Trump and gang including his son and Sessions are buying time with their refusal to answer questions for one ridiculous reason or another.
    Why?
    We need to know why.
    What do they expect to happen to get them permanently off the hook?

  • Jay Cliest

    Little Donnie Jr, "Are we having fun yet?" Maybe you should go shoot some elephants in Africa? Poor little boy, wait until they cuff you and daddy and shove your face on the ground. Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! Oh we will grieve when the helicpoters wisk you and daddy out of the White House. Poor beady little eyed thing you. Call up Jerry Fallwell Jr and have him tell you that you have Jesus in your heart...and now you are as 'pure as the lilies of the field' .Maybe we can pay for your security for another snow trip to Aspen, poor little boy. Yes, you will get to dine with Roy Moore and talk about his behavior with minors...so special.

  • David Bryan

    So Jr. Says his conversation with a Russian lawyer is client/lawyer privileged? That was the only lawyer in the room. He also doesn't seem to understand what that privilege is about.