Former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly said there didn’t seem to be much to the story detailing a meeting between a Russian lawyer and members of the Trump campaign before the election, but said that Trump Jr. should have revealed the meeting sooner.
“So the story is that Donald Trump Jr. and his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort who for a short time managed the Trump campaign,” O’Reilly explained in a video on his website, “met with a Russian attorney who knows people in the Kremlin shortly after the Indiana primary, which pretty much sewed everything up for Trump as the Republican nominee.”
“Now the story is interesting,” he said. “It’s interesting, is it any more than that? No, not at this point.”
“But if you look at CNN and MSNBC,” he said, mocking the liberal channels, “Oh Russian collusion! All of that. OK fine.”
“You knew they were gonna do it,” he continued, apparently addressing Donald Trump Jr. “You knew the reason the New York Times dropped it when Trump came back was thinking of another news cycle here, they could resume the Russian collusion narrative. That’s what’s in play. Keep it going, keep it alive.”
“Now, I don’t know what happened,” O’Reilly said. “Trump Jr. says he met with the woman because she had, she said she had some kind of dirt on Hillary Clinton. And so they met with her, and she didn’t have anything and they talked Russian adoption for 20 minutes, and everybody split.”
“OK, did that happen?” he asked rhetorically. “Is that true? I have no blankin’ idea. That’s what Trump Jr. says.”
“He shoulda said it three months ago!” he loudly exclaimed. “You know, get it all out! Any Russian restaurant. Any Russian movie. Anything! Get it out!!”
The New York Times story exposing the meeting was published Sunday, with some Trump critics responding by accusing Trump Jr. of committing treason. Trump Jr. has since hired additional legal counsel to defend himself, and denied all the accusations, saying he was merely looking into opposition research, something many campaigns do.
Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent… went nowhere but had to listen. https://t.co/ccUjL1KDEa
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 10, 2017
The meeting was revealed when Kushner revised his declarations on a form to obtain security clearance. He had previously not disclosed the meeting with the Russian lawyer, in addition to other meetings he added in the revision.