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Read What President Trump Said About Donald Jr.’s Russia Meeting in Off-the-Record Interview

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President Trump defended his son’s encounter with a Russian lawyer in an off-the-record conversation with reporters Wednesday, saying, “In a world of politics, most people are going to take that meeting.”

The interview, which was retroactively put on the record by the White House, took place Wednesday on Air Force One en route to France. Below, in an excerpt transcribed and shared by the White House, is what Trump said about his son Donald Jr.’s email correspondence and meeting with a Russian lawyer to obtain information about Hillary Clinton during the campaign.

THE PRESIDENT: Don is — as many of you know Don — he’s a good boy. He’s a good kid. And he had a meeting, nothing happened with the meeting. It was a short meeting as he told me — because I only heard about it two or three days ago.

As he told me, the meeting went — and it was attended by a couple of other people who — one of them left after a few minutes — which is Jared. The other one was playing with his iPhone. Don listened, out of politeness, and realized it wasn’t . . . .

Honestly, in a world of politics, most people are going to take that meeting. If somebody called and said, hey — and you’re a Democrat — and by the way, they have taken them — hey, I have really some information on Donald Trump. You’re running against Donald Trump. Can I see you? I mean, how many people are not going to take the meeting?

You can read the rest of the conversation here.

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com