Trump 'weighed in' on son's statement about Russian Federation meeting, White House says

Elias Hubbard
August 2, 2017

The White House has said Donald Trump "weighed in" on the misleading statement issued by his son, Donald Trump Jr, about his controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Donald Trump was probably making a joke last week when he encouraged police officers to be tougher when making arrests.

Donald Trump faces fresh questions about whether he tried to obscure details of links to Russian Federation after reports the president dictated his son's statement claiming a meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer had nothing to do with his presidential campaign. Later statements and additional reporting on the meeting provided additional context, including that Trump Jr. was told that the unnamed Russian attorney had incriminating information to share about Hillary Clinton. That makes no sense given that Don Jr's already in trouble for having agreed to meet with Russians to gain oppo on Hillary Clinton, a more significant misstep than putting out a misleading statement.

Sanders lastly emphasized the claim that President Trump is the one who should really be considered tough on Russian Federation.

"Like when you guys put somebody in the vehicle and you're protecting their head", Trump continued. That it was, in fact, from him and I believe it was his lawyer was in consultation - I'm sure his lawyer was in consultation.

"Apart from being of no outcome, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent", he told CBS News Chief White House correspondent Major Garrett in a statement.

Trump's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, tells CNN'S Chris Cuomo of Trump Jr.'s July 8 statement: "I wasn't involved in the statement drafting at all, nor was the President".

If Trump was trying to throw congressional investigators or criminal prosecutors "off the scent" of his campaign's contacts with Russians, Wright said, then that could be construed as obstruction in the legal sense of the term.

"The only thing I see misleading is a year's worth of stories that have been fueling a false narrative about this Russian Federation collusion and. a phony scandal based on anonymous sources, and if we're going to talk about misleading, that's the only thing misleading about this entire process", said Sanders.

In recent weeks, the scandal has taken a back seat to White House chaos amid the departure of Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus, his short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci and press secretary Sean Spicer.

SEKULOW: The president didn't sign off on anything. The plan was to do the honest thing and get in front of the story by admitting that the meeting took place, so that as more information comes out, they don't look like liars.

But, according to the Post, the president himself called an audible, dictating the statement that was eventually released - a far less forthcoming one that had to be changed multiple times in the days following its release.

Trump Jr. did not respond to the newspaper's comment requests, while his attorney said he and Trump Jr.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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