When news came to light that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign, the president's eldest son put out a statement denying the true purpose of the meeting.
Instead of collusion over the election results, Trump Jr. said in a statement, the group met to discuss Russian adoptions. That was a lie.
And it's a lie President Donald Trump himself approved. On top of that, the president's attorney, Jay Sekulow, denied the president had anything to do with Jr.’s email. Also a lie.
The Washington Post published a report claiming Trump had personally dictated the response his elder son would use to address the media, and the White House isn't denying it.
Trump Jr. released emails earlier in July that showed he agreed to meet a woman last year after being told she was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as part of Moscow's official support for his father.
The Washington Post said Trump advisers discussed the new disclosure and agreed that Trump Jr. should issue a truthful account of the episode so that it "couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged."
The president, who was reportedly flying home from Germany on July 8, changed the plan and "personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had 'primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children,'" the Post said, citing unnamed sources who had knowledge of the negotiations.
According to sources Trump intervened and told his son to make claims that he took on the meeting innocently and to tell the The New York Times as it prepared to publish the story, that the subject of the meeting (dirt on Hillary) was “not a campaign issue at the time.”
But Trump’s lawyer continuously tried to defend his boss when it came to Jr.’s controversial email.
Earlier in July, Sekulow maintained that the commander-in-chief had nothing to do with his son’s statement.
“I do want to be clear — the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement,” Sekulow told NBC’s Chuck Todd on July 16. “It came from Donald Trump Jr. It was, in fact, from him and I believe it was his lawyer was in consultation.”
Later, in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sekulow said “the president didn’t sign off on anything” and “wasn’t involved” with the statement.
But the Post’s story challenges these claims. Sekulow then posted an online response to the Post’s revelation, without specifically denying the Trump dictated the statement
“Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate and not pertinent,” he said.
Just another day in Trump's America.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Brian Snyder