Donald Trump Jr. was in a sharing mood on Tuesday.
The eldest son of US President Donald Trump released a statement and an email chain Tuesday via Twitter relating to a now-controversial meeting last year with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who potentially had damaging information on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. said the contents of the meeting was "nonsense."
His push to be transparent may not have been self-motivated. The email release comes after a series of The New York Times reports that Trump Jr. had met with a Russian government-linked associate for opposition research during the 2016 presidential race. The acknowledgement that he was aware of Kremlin efforts to aid his father become president, and his meeting with a Russian intermediary to inquire about potentially damaging information, comes after Trump Jr. had been responding with different explanations about the encounter, reported CBS News.
Trump Jr. using Twitter to share the information marks an unusual level of disclosure considering the White House is under investigation for possible collusion with Russia over the elections. Trump Jr., with 1.8 million Twitter followers, has taken to the same medium that's helping his father spread his and got him as president.
However, it remains to be seen if that strategy will work to the son's advantage, said Joe Tuman, a professor at San Francisco State University and a political analyst for KCBS Radio. Trump Jr. is borrowing a page from his father's playbookby speaking in "half-truths," until pressed to do so, Tuman believes.
"Trump Jr.'s hands were tied and he was forced to do something," Tuman said. "He thinks maybe it's better to speak through Twitter and not talk to reporters because if he's posting and not interacting, they can't grill him with questions. We all have a lot of questions that deserve answers."
Trump Jr. using Twitter as his megaphone also allows the masses to draw their own conclusions, said Syracuse University professor Roy Gutterman, an expert on media laws and free speech. He doesn't think Trump Jr. will stay silent and off the social network.
"It wouldn't surprise me at all," Gutterman said. "At this point, anything's possible."
Sure enough, Trump Jr. retweeted Tuesday comments from ousted Fox News Channel anchor Bill O'Reilly and former US presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee:
First published July 11, 9:36 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:22 p.m.PT: Adds comments from political experts and background.
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