In a Fox News interview on Saturday, President Trump’s son, Donald Jr., seemed to confirm part of the testimony given by former FBI director James Comey in the Senate last week. Comey had testified that President Trump told him during a meeting, with regards to the FBI’s investigation of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, that “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Comey also said that he considered the comment to be a directive. Trump’s personal lawyer, however, seemed to deny that account on Thursday. Said attorney Marc Kasowitz in a statement following Comey’s under-oath Senate testimony, “[T]he President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that Mr. Comey ‘let Flynn go.’” Trump has offered his own denial as well, telling a reporter on Friday that “I didn’t say that,” though also hastily hedging that “there would be nothing wrong if I did say it according to everybody that I’ve read today.”
Presuming Trump did make the comment, some of Comey’s Republican critics have suggested that the use of the word “hope” meant that the president was not attempting to direct Comey to drop the investigation. Defending his father in an appearance on Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show on Saturday night, the president’s son toed that line of thinking as well, but while he called the former FBI director a “dishonest man of bad character” and claimed that “everything that went on in the Comey testimony was basically ridiculous,” Trump Jr. also backed up Comey’s testimony by confirming that his father had made the comment:
When [my father] tells you to do something, guess what? There’s no ambiguity in it, there’s no, “Hey, I’m hoping. You and I are friends. Hey, I hope this happens, but you’ve got to do your job.” That’s what he told Comey.
Trump Jr. wasn’t in the room with the president and Comey, of course, so it’s possible he was just weighing in on the meta-commentary around Comey’s testimony, but on the other hand, he’s also as close as anyone can get to his father, and would thus be pretty likely to be privy to the president’s version of events.