Rep. Ted Yoho, R-FL, said it was acceptable for Donald Trump Jr. to meet with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign and added that he likely would have taken the meeting in the same situation.
“Do I think it’s appropriate? I think I probably would have done the same thing,” Yoho, a member of the House Freedom Caucus member said during an appearance on CNN. “I mean, it’s opposition research and, you know, anybody that’s been in an election — you’re always looking to get the upper hand.”
Trump Jr. said in a statement Sunday that he had met with a Russian lawyer who he had been told “might have information helpful to the campaign.” The statement was issued in response to a New York Times report that he “was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton” before agreeing to meet with the lawyer.
Yoho said he doesn’t think the meeting was out of the ordinary.
“Keep in mind, she wasn’t an official for the Russian government, the way I understand it. She’s a lawyer — a Russian lawyer — and if somebody comes to us and says, ‘Hey, we’ve got information on an opponent,’ yeah I think that’s an appropriate thing to do,” Yoho said.”I don’t think it was inappropriate for what he did. If you’ve got information about an opponent running against you, wouldn’t you want that information to vet it, to see if it’s real information, and to use it accordingly? And you can’t do that if you don’t have the initial meeting.”