WASHINGTON ― Donald Trump Jr., who met with a Russian lawyer promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, said in an interview on his dad’s favorite cable news network on Saturday that the GOP-authored memo his father declassified amounted to “sweet revenge” for him and his family.
“There is a little bit of sweet revenge in it for me and certainly probably the family in a sense that if they wouldn’t have done this, this stuff would be going on,” Trump Jr. said, referring to the Republican allegation that the Justice Department and FBI improperly used their surveillance powers.
The staff of House Intelligence Committee chairman and Trump transition team member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) wrote the memo that accuses the nation’s premier law enforcement agency of omitting information about the partisan nature of a source used to get permission to surveil a former Trump campaign associate.
“This would be going on at the highest levels of government. They’d be continuing doing it to my father, trying to undermine his actions,” Trump Jr. added.
Trump Jr. ― whose father greatly benefited from the FBI’s disclosures about their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign ―accused Democrats of weaponizing the Justice Department and the FBI against his father. Asked by Jesse Watters of Fox News whether the Russia investigation was rotten to its core, Trump Jr. replied that “it always has been.”
Trump Jr. complained about the “millions in legal fees” he had to pay in connection with the Russia probe, the time he’s had to waste, and “being smeared throughout the media for a year.”
Democrats have said that the Republican memo mischaracterizes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application that the Justice Department prepared to seek permission to surveil former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The FBI ― headed by the Republican who Trump nominated to take over the bureau after he fired another Republican, James Comey ― had “grave concerns” about “material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”
Ryan Reilly is HuffPost’s senior justice reporter, covering criminal justice, federal law enforcement and legal affairs. Have a tip? Reach him at email@example.com or on Signal at 202-527-9261.