Donald Trump Jr. said he couldn’t remember or didn’t know 186 times in his Trump Tower meeting testimony

He is trying!
He is trying!
Image: Reuters/Leah Millis
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On May 16, the Senate Committee of the Judiciary released a transcript of Donald Trump Jr.’s Sept. 7, 2017 testimony about a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Among the things it reveals: For a 40-year-old, Trump Jr. doesn’t remember much.

In the 244-page transcript, Trump Jr. said at least 105 times that he could not recall something, 37 times that he didn’t remember, and 44 times that he didn’t know. The memory lapses refer to a variety of situations, including whether he knew about something, discussed something with someone, or met someone.

Here are some of Trump Jr’s most memorable ¯_(ツ)_/¯ moments :

  1. Speaking with Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star, businessman, and son of a Putin-friendly oligarch, who requested the meeting, on June 6 and June 7. “My phone records show three very short phone calls between Emin and me on June 6th and 7th,” Trump Jr. said. “I do not recall speaking with Emin. It’s possible we left each other voicemails messages. I simply don’t remember.”
  2. Speaking with Jared Kushner or Paul Manafort about the Trump Tower meeting: “I do not recall ever discussing it with Jared, Paul, or anyone else. In short, I gave it no further thought.”
  3. Whether Agalarov’s publicist Rob Goldstone, who brokered the Trump Tower meeting, tried to set up other meetings with Russia officials and Trump campaign
  4. Whether the Trump organization tried to pursue other projects with Agalarov.
  5. Whether lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin was at the Trump Tower meeting.
  6. If a Russian participant in the meeting requested that Trump repeal the Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on organizations and government bodies linked with the murder of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky.
  7. Discussing the “Vote Trump” VKontakte page with Goldstone, who had offered to set up a page on the Russian version of Facebook to gather support for Trump.
  8. Whether Manafort asked questions or made comments in the Trump Tower meeting
  9. Whether Trump Jr. had any contacts with attendees after the meeting
  10. Whether Trump Jr. discussed his statement about the meeting with other attendees. (“Not that I recall. I may have, but certainly not before the first statement.”)
  11. Ever talking to the Trump campaign’s foreign policy advisor, Carter Page.
  12. What Trump campaign foreign advisor George Papadopoulos did on the campaign.
  13. What consultant and lobbyist Rick Gates’ role and/or title in the campaign was (Gates pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the US in the election-meddling investigation.)
  14. Speaking to anyone about Goldstone’s email promising incriminating details on Hillary Clinton.
  15. Whether Trump Jr. gave any thought to Goldstone’s email about Clinton, or followed up after the first reply: “I don’t know that it alarmed me, but like I said, I don’t know and I don’t know that I was all that focused on it at the time. […] I don’t know because I don’t remember thinking about it at the time. […] I responded in 20 minutes because if I get an e-mail I respond to it. If I see it, I respond. And, again, I didn’t follow up. I don’t know that I ever followed up other than in response to Rob following up with me three days later.”
  16. Whether he “loved” that the potentially damaging information on Clinton came from the Russian government’s support for Trump.
  17. Whether the call he received from Manafort on June 7 was about the meeting.
  18. Whether he spoke to Manafort about the meeting during a phone call on June 8.
  19. Speaking to Kushner 15 minutes after the Manafort call on June 8.
  20. Whether he discussed with Manafort and Kushner getting an email with the subject line “Russia-Clinton, private and confidential.”
  21. Whether he spoke to Kushner about the Trump Tower meeting before the New York Times reported on the emails.
  22. What he asked about Clinton during the Trump Tower meeting.
  23. Whether he ever met Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
  24. Whether anyone from the campaign met with Sergey Kislyak.
  25. Whether there were Russian investors in underlying Trump Organization development projects.
  26. Whether the Trump Organization did due diligence or background checks on real estate developer Felix Sater before engaging in business with him.
  27. When Trump Jr. learned about Sater’s criminal history.
  28. Who secured financing for Manhattan hotel Trump SoHo.
  29. Whether the Trump Organization tracks who buys properties from them in all-cash.
  30. Whether Trump Jr. ever met Russian oligarch and real estate developer Aras Agalarov, Emin’s father.
  31. When he heard that Wikileaks had hacked the emails of John Podesta, then chairman of the Clinton campaign, and intended to release them online.
  32. Whether the Trump campaign discussed using the hack to their advantage.
  33. Whether he knew investor and GOP operative Peter Smith, who was accused of trying to illegally obtain Clinton’s email and who committed suicide in July 2017.
  34. Talking to political consultant and strategist Roger Stone after the first week of the campaign (Stone has been accused of helping the Russian interference in the US election through his interactions with Wikileaks.)
  35. Discussing former FBI director James Comey’s testimony within Trump Organization.

Correction: This story’s headline has been corrected to reflect that Donald Trump Jr said he didn’t remember or know 186 times. Some of those instances referred to the same topic.