Trump appears to change his story about meeting

Glen Norman
August 6, 2018

President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that the 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with top Trump campaign officials and a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer was to get information on his opponent Hillary Clinton.

As he has in the past, Trump insisted in a tweet that he did not know at the time about the meeting between his son Donald Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer with links to the Kremlin.

The President seemed to be reacting to a report by Philip Rucker in the Independent, which said the president was "anxious" and "brooding" over recent news about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, worried about his son, Donald J. Trump Jr. thanks to his involvement in same. "They are very unsafe & sick!"

Trump Jr. has shifted his explanations for his Russian meeting.

Amid public uproar over the meeting, the president's son was forced to release follow-up statements, ultimately acknowledging that the meeting's true goal had been to get dirt about Hillary Clinton from a lawyer he had been told was working for the Russian government.

And as Trump and his allies have tried to discredit the probe, a new talking point has emerged: that even if that meeting was held to collect damaging information, none was provided and "collusion" - Trump's go-to description of what Mueller is investigating - never occurred.


Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday that he has no knowledge of the president's son being a target of Mueller's probe.

"I wasn't involved in the statement drafting at all, nor was the president", Sekulow claimed in July 2017.

Such testimony by Cohen, a longtime fixer for Trump, would contradict the testimony and public denials of the president, his son, and other campaign officials who've repeatedly said the president wasn't aware of the meeting until more than a year later.

Trump has recently come under fire for his own role in the 2016 meeting, as former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen claimed that the president knew about the meeting in advance - something Trump has previously denied.

However, legal experts say that Mr Trump Jr could fall foul of campaign finance laws, which prohibit accepting anything of value from a foreign government or foreign national.

President Trump is also correct when he suggests that most political campaigns would have been as interested as his was in obtaining negative information about its opponent from a Russian willing to provide it.


"Well, the question is, how would it be illegal?"

In addition to weighing in publicly on the Trump Tower meeting, the president also unleashed angry tweets directed at the news media Sunday morning from his 11-day working vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Marshall reported that during the private meeting, according to Trump himself, Putin brought up the Russian adoptions.

Trump's attacks on the special counsel's investigation have been rebuffed by Republican leaders in Congress who have expressed support for Mueller.

"If I ask Donald a question, 'What time is it?' He would probably tell me how to build a clock", the lawyer explained.

This is another reason why Trump shouldn't meet with Mueller.


Sekulow said the important thing was that Trump's legal team shared accurate information with the special counsel. "They can also cause War!"

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