White House advisers are reportedly concerned about new revelations in a Washington Post report that says President Donald Trump dictated the statement that was originally released by his son, Donald Trump, Jr., after news broke about Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign.
Trump reportedly decided that his son should tell the media that the issue of Russian adoption was discussed at the meeting, rather than any campaign issues. He dictated the statement, which was given to the New York Times on July 8, while aboard Air Force One.
The president's lawyer, Jay Sekulow, told "Good Morning America" after the statement was released that Trump had not even signed off on the statement, much less composed it.
FLASHBACK: July 12.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 1, 2017
Q: NYT reports Trump signed off on the 1st Don Jr statement.
Jay Sekulow: "The president didn't sign off on anything." pic.twitter.com/1t35nQrdeI
The statement came into question days later, after Trump, Jr. released his own emails from June 2016, showing that he had set up the meeting with the Russian lawyer after learning that he'd be able to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the encounter.
A White House adviser spoke to the Washington Post anonymously, admitting that the newest revelation is worrying in light of Trump's other attempts to interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the election. "Now someone can claim [Trump]'s the one who attempted to mislead," the adviser said. "Somebody can argue the president is saying he doesn't want you to say the whole truth.”
The adviser's fears don't appear to be misplaced. Critics responded swiftly to the latest evidence that Trump sought to hide information about his team's contacts with Russia during the campaign.
Obstruction of justice pure and simple. https://t.co/qBT30nUXyb— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) August 1, 2017
If this story is true he should have the dignity to resign. https://t.co/T0paVR43Sc— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) August 1, 2017
Worth reupping the point that a Trump attorney, Jay Sekulow, said repeatedly that Trump played no role in drafting Don Jr's statement https://t.co/sxQrds8xRe— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) August 1, 2017