WORLD Pres­i­den­tial fic­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - WORLD -

Trump framed Jnr’s mis­lead­ing state­ment on Rus­sian con­tro­versy THE White House has ad­mit­ted Don­ald Trump helped draft a mis­lead­ing state­ment about his son’s meet­ing with a Krem­lin- con­nected lawyer – deep­en­ing the pres­i­dent’s en­tan­gle­ment in the saga over his team’s ties to Rus­sia.

White House spokes­woman Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said Mr Trump had “weighed in, of­fered sug­ges­tions, like any fa­ther would do”.

Mr Trump’s per­sonal in­ter­ven­tion casts doubt on claims he knew noth­ing about a meet­ing dur­ing the 2016 cam­paign now cen­tral to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

It also paints a pic­ture of a pres­i­dent acutely aware of the scan­dal – and de­ter­mined to man­age it to a minute level.

Al­lies fear such a level of in­volve­ment, if proven, could put the Repub­li­can bil­lion­aire leader in le­gal jeop­ardy.

Po­lit­i­cally, it will only in­ten­sify al­le­ga­tions that the White House is try­ing to cover up con­nec­tions with a for­eign gov­ern­ment ac­cused of try­ing to tilt the Novem­ber elec­tion in Trump’s favour.

“This was ... un­nec­es­sary,” one pres­i­den­tial ad­viser told the Wash­ing­ton Post.

“Now some­one can claim he’s the one who at­tempted to mis­lead. Some­body can ar­gue the pres­i­dent is doesn’t want you whole truth.”

Mr Trump’s lawyer Jay Seku­low dis­missed the re­port as “mis­in­formed”.

Emails show Mr Trump’s el­dest son Don­ald Jr, his sonin- law Jared Kush­ner and his then cam­paign man­ager Paul Manafort met Krem­lin- con­nected of­fi­cials in June 2016 hop­ing to get dirt on Demo- say­ing he to say the cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton.

A Bri­tish mid­dle­man pitched the meet­ing as an op­por­tu­nity for the Trump cam­paign to ob­tain “very high level and sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion” as “part of Rus­sia and its gov­ern­ment’s sup­port” for Mr Trump.

Repub­li­can con­gress­man, Lee Zeldin of New York, told CNN: “I would be re­ally in­ter­ested in know­ing what the pres­i­dent knew at that time.”

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