Trump worried? Must be a mistake
On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump shared his concerns about a meeting he said didn’t concern him:
“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. 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!”
That meeting in Trump Tower two years ago presumably also didn’t concern him when he tweeted about it just 10 days ago:
“… I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!”
It probably didn’t concern him that much when he tweeted about it last year, either:
“Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That’s politics!” Although the president confirmed in his Sunday tweet that the reason his son, his campaign manager and his soninlaw all met with a group of Russians in 2016 was to collect compromising information about Hillary Clinton, it was such an insignificant admission that one of his attorneys, Jay Sekulow, appeared on ABC shortly after the president tweeted to assure viewers that there didn’t appear to be anything “illegal” about the meeting.
“The question is what law, statute or rule or regulation’s been violated?” Sekulow asked. “Nobody’s pointed to one.”
(Some legal analysts have repeatedly noted the meeting could have broken a number of laws, included conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and aiding and abetting a conspiracy. But let’s move along.)
Sekulow also said on Sunday that he needed to clear up some confusion he created last year when he said that the president hadn’t helped concoct a misleading cover story about the Trump Tower meeting in response to reporters’ questions about it. In fact, Trump, on his way home from a G20 summit in Europe last year, dictated a statement aboard Air Force One that said noted child advocate Donald Trump Jr. took the meeting to discuss Russian adoption policies (rather than trying to scoop up kompromat).
“I had bad information at that time and made a mistake in my statement,” Sekulow
confessed on Sunday. “That happens when you have cases like this.”
Mistakes, they’ve made a few. In June, another Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, copped to the same error about exactly the same thing. “I don’t think anyone was lying,” he assured CNN viewers while discussing why he had said — incorrectly — that Trump hadn’t been the author of Donald Jr.’s cover story.
“It was a mistake,” Giuliani allowed. “I swear to God, it was a mistake.”
Trump’s tweets of late do suggest that he’s gearing up for a confrontation of some sort with Mueller.
There was this from June: “The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself … I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined … and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!”
And this one from last week: “...This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”
Neither of these tweets should be construed as the thoughts of someone growing increasingly worried about the legal implications of further disclosures about meetings in Trump Tower. That would be a mistake. They also shouldn’t be seen as efforts to obstruct justice, as Sekulow will be quick to point out.
“Obstruction of justice by tweet is absurd,” Sekulow said in his ABC appearance on Sunday. “The president has a First Amendment right to put his opinions out there.”