Donald Trump Jr.’s now infamous tweet on June 16, 2016, is one of the most widely circulated of the presidential campaign and the subject of much scrutiny.
That tweet was retweeted more than 500,000 times in the first hour after it was posted, prompting many to ask what the President’s eldest son was thinking.
At the time, the President himself appeared to have little to say about the tweet or its potential impact on the 2016 election.
“As the father of a young boy, I have a tremendous amount of respect for his decision to share the content of that tweet,” Trump Jr., who is now the President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, told The New York Times on Monday.
“And I have no doubt that, if he was trying to be helpful, that would be his right.
But I’m not sure he was being helpful.”
The tweet in question was posted by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Twitter, where he also often posted anti-Trump messages, including one which said, “The American people have spoken and they are angry.”
It also contained the hashtags #NeverTrump and #DumpTrump.
The President’s son posted the tweet after being contacted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who tweeted about the DNC leaks and offered to deliver thousands of emails from the organization to the President, which the President denied.
At one point, Trump Jr wrote that he was “very curious” as to why the President would retweet an anti-Clinton message.
“Is he trying to influence the election?” he tweeted.
“Or is he trying and encouraging his son to do the same thing?”
A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump Jr’s tweet prompted a wave of backlash on Twitter and on the news media.
He was quickly removed from his father’s official Twitter account.
“The president has a very hard time understanding why his son would share a tweet that promotes a Russian propaganda effort,” said Mark Corallo, a former senior White House lawyer.
“He has no idea how this got to the top of the news cycle.
It’s an unprecedented level of attention.”
Some media outlets have noted that Trump Jr had previously received hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from the Kremlin-linked Russian-American billionaire and the Democratic Party.
The tweet is the latest salvo in the President Jr. feud with the mainstream media.
In April, the president released a statement to the press saying he was concerned about the spread of fake news.
“I was deeply concerned by the recent release of the now infamous ‘Trump Jr.’ video, which was clearly written and produced in Russia by an agent with ties to the Russian government,” he said.
“These emails also appear to be the product of a paid operation funded by the Clinton campaign, as well as the DNC, the Clinton Foundation, and the Clinton Global Initiative.”
Trump Jr has denied any wrongdoing and called the Russia allegations “fake news.”
He also has defended his tweet, saying it was not “taken out of context” and that it was meant to inform the public.
“There was no collusion between my campaign and Russia and no effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” he told NBC News in March.
“Any suggestion otherwise is just nonsense.”
In July, the White House announced it was ending its policy of not commenting on the Russia investigation.
“We will continue to follow the facts wherever they lead and are committed to pursuing the full range of investigative tools to ensure that the American people are safe from the harmful influence of Russian efforts,” said a White House statement.
“However, the Administration will continue the investigation into any links between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts.”