Over the weekend, the Trump administration once again switched its official story about a 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer.
“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower,” President Donald Trump tweeted. “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere.”
“I did not know about it!”
The tweet was the first time the President has publicly acknowledged that the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 was to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton.
On Monday, a CNN panel tried to make sense of the administration’s ever-shifting justifications for the meeting—and the ramifications for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
Former ambassador Norman Eisen, a Brookings Institute fellow and CNN contributor, pointed out that there are signs in how Mueller is conducting the investigation.
“Don Jr. is among the most likely targets. And we have a clue. Mueller hasn’t yet talked to him. He’s saving him for last,” Eisen said. “That’s a sign that he may be charged.”
CNN host Kate Bolduan noted that even as the administration’s story changes, there’s one recurring theme.
“If there’s one constant in the inconsistencies in all of it, the one thing is that the president says that he didn’t know anything about the meeting … in advance,” she said.
“That’s the one constant there is, which I find fascinating.”