Trump dictated son's statement about Russian lawyer meeting

Saul Bowman
August 4, 2017

But after a complete denial from his legal team that the president was involved at all, the White House confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Trump did weigh in on his son's statement about that controversial meeting.

When the New York Times reported in July that Trump Jr. had met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskayaduring the presidential campaign, Trump Jr. said in a statement that the meeting was primarily about a Russian adoption program.

The Washington Post reported Monday night that Trump dictated his son's statement on Air Force One, claiming the get-together was to discuss the issue of U.S. -Russia adoptions.

Mr Trump Jr later acknowledged he had agreed to meet after being told Kremlin-linked information about Mrs Clinton would be offered during the talks.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, has since asked the White House to preserve all documents relating to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. Indeed, the most extraordinary part of the picture this story paints is that while other people involved were recommending some measure of transparency on the assumption that the truth would come out eventually, they were overruled by the president, who personally dictated the misleading statement.

Trump's comments were widely criticized by law enforcement agencies across the country. "Now someone can claim [Trump]'s the one who attempted to mislead", the adviser said.

"I can't believe any worthwhile prosecutor can ignore this", Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said.

Sekulow's Meet the Press comments may have been meant to insulate the president from involvement in Trump Jr.'s efforts to collude with Russian Federation.


"Like when you guys put somebody in the auto and you're protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, [at that point Mr Trump gestures at his head], don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody, don't hit their head, I said, 'You can take the hand away, okay?'"

"I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff".

Trump Jr, Kushner and Manafort have all been questioned by United States investigators into whether there was collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's campaign.

Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, said drafting a misleading statement isn't illegal.

Advisers had said Donald Trump Jr should issue a truthful account so it "couldn't be repudiated later if the full details emerged", adds the paper.

President Trump's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, has some explaining to do.

The president also strongly criticized Sessions for not firing FBI interim chief, Andrew McCabe, who has replaced James Comey in the investigation into Russian Federation.

Today's cabinet meeting will be the first time President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have seen each other face-to-face since the president public criticized sessions for stepping down from overseeing the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

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