The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee doesn't buy the Trump administration’s spin about the Donald Trump Jr. email scandal. He finds it odd that senior Trump aides keep forgetting they spoke to Russian envoys and officials. And he worries the president might pardon anyone convicted of colluding with Moscow.
Those are the main takeaways of my interview Thursday with Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, a lawmaker at the center of the growing web of congressional investigations into whether the Trump campaign worked with the Kremlin to help defeat Clinton, as well as into the Trump team’s broader ties to Moscow.
I spoke to Warner just days after the release of emails showing that Trump Jr. agreed to a meeting with a Russian envoy promising to turn over information that “would incriminate Hillary ... would be very useful to your father.” The envoy went on to say the information was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
The younger Trump’s willingness to attend the meeting, and the fact that Trump adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort also showed up, is the clearest evidence to date of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. The Senate Judiciary Committee has told Trump Jr. that it wants him to testify and has threatened to use a subpoena if he refuses; it’s not clear if Warner’s committee would do the same.
During the interview, I asked Warner about one of the most important unknowns in the saga: whether Trump Jr. told his father about the meeting.
“It would seem strange that that wouldn't come up ... at family dinner,” Warner told me during the conversation in his small hideaway office off the Senate floor.
Below are the highlights from our conversation, edited for length and clarity.
Full story in article.