By Talia Kaplan
Published January 19, 2020
Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, weighed in on his father’s legal team on Sunday ahead of the Senate impeachment trial, which is set to begin on Tuesday, saying on “Sunday Morning Futures” that “I think it is going to be a great team” especially because the members of the defense team “have experience.”
He added that if witnesses will be called in the Senate impeachment trial, then he would "definitely want to hear from the other side."
“We've seen that this has been a one-sided sham from moment No. 1,” Trump told host Maria Bartiromo. “So, I guess a lot of it depends on what happens from this point on, right? I would like to personally hear from everyone. I’d like to hear from [former Vice President Joe Biden’s son] Hunter Biden. I’d like to hear from Joe Biden because frankly these are the reasons we're even having this conversation right now.”
When asked if he would rather see the Senate file a motion to dismiss right away or hear from potential witnesses, Trump Jr. answered, “If we're hearing from all of those witnesses, then I sort of want to hear it.”
“Having watched this thing transpire over the last few years and then nonsense perpetuate itself, I definitely want to hear from the other side,” he said. “If the Republicans, and some of them, let’s call it weaker Republicans, I sort of like the [Kentucky Sen.] Rand Paul model, make a vote on it. If some of those guys don't want to hear from the witnesses that we’d want to hear from, but we'll hear from the others, I want to know about it because they don't deserve to be in office so it really depends.”
“We have to play the game the way the Democrats have played the game,” Trump continued. “We have to play hard but fair, hearing from everyone is totally fair. That’s not what we've seen so far while the Democrats have controlled the process. It has not been fair in any way, shape or form.”
He added that “this has been an ongoing saga forever.”
“The other thing I think [House Speaker] Nancy [Pelosi was] trying to do with the delay, is prevent other people like [Vermont Sen.] Bernie [Sanders] from being on the campaign trail,” Trump Jr. told Bartiromo on Sunday, referencing the fact that Pelosi withheld the articles of impeachment against his father for one month after the House voted to adopt them.
He went on to say, “I love that they collude against themselves in this way because the last time they colluded to rig the Democrat primary it worked out perfectly for us because we got Hillary [Clinton] and that was a godsend.”
When Bartiromo asked Trump Jr. how his father is doing in the face of all the attacks and impeachment he said, “Honestly, he is doing fine. You can see that through his actions.”
“He’s used to taking these punches, he’s used to getting hit and guess what? He’s just going to keep working,” Trump Jr. said. “He’s actually more of a game time player than anything so when the pressure’s on, he gets things done and what you're seeing is unprecedented success.”
On “Sunday Morning Futures” he also addressed the damning allegations from Lev Parnas, the indicted former associate of Rudy Giuliani, against President Trump in his handling of Ukraine. When asked how well he knows Parnas, who is photographed with his father, Trump Jr. said he didn’t even know Parnas was Ukrainian and initially thought he was Israeli.
Parnas and his business partner Igor Fruman – both U.S. citizens who emigrated from the former Soviet bloc – have been indicted by federal prosecutors on charges of conspiracy, making false statements and falsification of records related to allegations that they made outsized campaign donations to Republican causes after receiving millions of dollars originating from Russia.
In addition, Parnas has previously sought to testify in the impeachment probe.
During an MSNBC interview on Wednesday -- just a day after he provided a slew of new documents and text messages to House investigators -- Parnas told anchor Rachel Maddow that the president was contemplating cutting all forms of financial assistance to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden, not just military aid — and, he said, the plot had a clear political motivation.
Parnas said Giuliani instructed him to deliver a "harsh" message to Ukraine that "all aid" to the country would be halted unless "there was an announcement of the Biden investigation," among other demands.
“[I] met him [Parnas] at some fund-raising event,” Trump Jr. told Bartiromo in the interview that aired Sunday. “He was a donor to a super PAC, shows up at some of these things like anything else.”
“Honestly, I didn't even realize he was Ukrainian, I thought he was Israeli,” he continued. “The reality is you don't know him that well, but that’s the problem with how this world works. You take a couple pictures. If someone’s a donor they get in line, they sit at a dinner with 50 people. That’s how it works.”
He went on to say that “the media then takes it [and says], ‘Oh, they're buddies.’ I guarantee you my father couldn't pick this guy out of a lineup. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t taken pictures with him.”
He added that his father takes about 200 pictures with people in one evening a couple of times a week at these kind of events.
“This is how the game works,” Trump Jr. said. “But again the media pretends that they don't know that that’s how the game works.”
Fox News' Jake Gibson, Gregg Re, and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.