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Juliette Kayyem On Boston Public Radio | May 16, 2018

Newly Released Transcripts Raise Fresh Questions About Russia Investigation

Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr., the son of President Donald Trump arrives for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP
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Juliette Kayyem On Boston Public Radio | May 16, 2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee has released more than 2,000 pages of testimony regarding a controversial June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian operatives.

National security expert Juliette Kayyem joined Boston Public Radio to talk through the new findings in the testimony.

“The most interesting thing that people are focusing on specifically is, Don Jr. makes a phone call after he meets with the Russians, a four-minute phone call,” she said. “He says he doesn’t remember who it was to, and so one could surmise ... that that phone call may have gone to [then-candidate Trump] about what was happening.”

Kayyem noted that Steve Bannon had speculated about Trump Jr. contacting President Trump about the content of that meeting, and that the involvement of the president might be relevant to the special counsel’s investigation.

She also said the phone number was blocked, but that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has likely asked for the phone records.

Kayyem also pointed out that then-candidate Trump was in the building at the time.

“The idea that this meeting took place and Trump did not know about it seems not plausible, given the extent to which Trump knew everything that was going on during that campaign,” said Kayyem.

She said the testimony shows the Trump team “did not tell the FBI; they did not alert anyone; they did not say ‘no’” to offers of information from Russian operatives.

“We don’t have to look for conspiracies anymore,” she said. “This is a campaign that knew it was meeting with people who had compromised information about Hillary Clinton, and those people were Russians.”

National Security expert Juliette Kayyem is as a member of the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a CNN contributor and CEO of ZEMCAR. To hear her interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above.

WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.
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