Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger Wednesday dismissed reports of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer as “just another story in the media’s neurotic, weekly tabloid obsession of Trump-Russian collusion.”
The North Carolina congressman’s statement came in response to an Observer request for comment on the stories that have headlined major news reports this week.
The New York Times first reported on the 2016 meeting among President Donald Trump’s eldest son, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
The paper followed with reports on emails between Trump and an intermediary who promised the meeting would reveal “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary (Clinton) and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.”
In his statement, Pittenger downplayed the revelations.
“The media attention and scrutiny of statements by Donald Trump Jr. is far over the top relative to more pressing national concerns, such as the threat of North Korea and the collaborative relationships they have with China and Iran,” Pittenger said.
“Anyone new to the political arena must learn to make clear and accurate representations, but this is just another story in the media’s neurotic, weekly tabloid obsession of Trump-Russian collusion.”
Democratic Rep. Alma Adams, who like Pittenger lives in Charlotte, had a different take. In a statement Tuesday, she called the news stories “incendiary.”
“One after another, senior Trump officials have been caught hiding meetings with Russian agents,” she said. “This newest revelation of a meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr. is just another page in a dangerous narrative. We have a responsibility to put partisan politics aside and get the answers the American people deserve.”