In the weeks after word first broke of a previously undisclosed meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manfort, a Russian emissary and four other individuals, Donald Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow repeatedly denied that his client has any hand in helping craft a misleading (at best) statement downplaying the gathering. But according to a new report by the Washington Post, that statement was false.
The Post on Monday advanced a previously reported story about Trump’s involvement in the drafting of the statement, which Trump Jr. would have to amend repeatedly as further information came out about the 2016 meeting. The new report revealed Trump “personally dictated” the contents of that statement.
But in July, after the New York Times first broke that Trump may have played a part in the misleading statement, Sekulow made the rounds on TV to flatly deny his client participated.
“The president did not draft the response, the response came from Donald Trump Jr., I’m sure in consultation with his lawyer,” Sekulow promised to CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“When the information—the information was to-be-released a few days later—but as the information became public, my understanding is that Donald Trump Jr. and his lawyer worked on a statement to make regarding the scope of the meeting,” Sekluow stammered in another interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
Pressed by Todd over whether he could say, for certain, that the president wasn’t involved in his son’s statement, Sekulow demurred.
“I can’t say whether the president was told a statement would be coming from his son or not,” Sekulow said.“I do want to be clear the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement.”
In response to Monday’s scoop by the Post, Trump Jr.’s lawyer Alan Futerfas repeated what he said following the original Times report, simply saying the eldest Trump son was “fully prepared and absolutely prepared to publish or make a statement that was a fulsome statement about the nature of the meeting, what led to the meeting, what the conversation was in the meeting.”
What changed between Trump Jr.'s supposed preparedness to "publish or make a statement that was a fulsome statement about the nature of the meeting," and the decidedly un-fulsome statement eventually made by his legal team, according to the Post, was the direct intervention of the president.
Watch the video below, via MSNBC:
"I do want to be clear the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement" -- Jay Sekulow, Trump's lawyer, apparently lying pic.twitter.com/DMukqu6uIU
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 1, 2017