WASHINGTON: The White House said Tuesday that U.S. President Donald Trump “weighed in” on a statement his eldest son had made about a controversial Russia-related meeting. The statement that Donald Trump Jr. issued “is true”, said White House spokeswomen Sarah Sanders in a briefing on Tuesday afternoon. “There is no inaccuracy in the statement.”
The meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign was brought back into limelight after Trump reportedly dictated the July 8th statement that claimed the meeting was “primarily” about American families adoption of Russian children. Sanders pushed back the story, saying Trump “certainly didn’t dictate” the statement but he “weighed in as any father would, based on the limited information that he had.”The matter was “of no consequence”, Sanders stressed.
But her remarks appeared to have contradicted with Jay Sekulow, one of the attorneys representing Trump in the Russia probe, who has repeatedly denied that the president played a role in drafting his son’s statement.Sekulow has denied in previous interviews that Trump had any involvement in the drafting of the statement, which, he said, was written by Trump Jr. with consultation with his lawyer.
A Washington Post report said on Monday Trump dictated the document while flying back on Air Force One from the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, held on July 7-8.”Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent,” Sekulow said in a statement to the Post after the story was released.
It was revealed last month that Trump Jr. met a Russian lawyer last year in New York after being promised “damaging” information about Hilary Clinton, the then Democratic presidential candidate running against his father.
After issuing the misleading statement in attempt to “clarify” himself, Trump Jr. made public a chain of emails with an intermediary about the meeting to be what he called “totally transparent.”
But he was later accused of violating a federal act by conspiring to solicit a contribution from a foreign national during the campaign because of what he revealed.A federal special counsel and several congressional panels are conducting the Trump-Russia investigations.