Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer: Sources
ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump personally dictated the first statement his son gave in response to a report from the New York Times earlier this month about the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort with a Russian lawyer with the promise of damaging information on Hillary Clinton, two senior level sources confirm to ABC News.
The Washington Post first reported on Monday night the news that the president had dictated the messaging.
The decision was initially made that Donald Trump Jr. was to release a truthful statement that “couldn’t be repudiated” ahead of the release of the New York Times story, according to the Post. But that decision was reversed as the president flew back from the G20 Summit in Germany on July 8.
The president personally dictated the statement that his son and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” at the 2016 meeting amid his presidential campaign, the Post reports. The statement emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time,” the Post reports.
Donald Trump Jr. later acknowledged that he took the meeting after being told that he may receive damaging information about Clinton at the meeting.
Alan Futerfas, Donald Trump Jr’s attorney, had “no comment” when reached Monday night by ABC News.
A spokesperson for the president and a separate representative for Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Kushner also declined to comment when reached by ABC News.
President Trump’s legal team responded saying the report in inaccurate.
“Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent,” Jay Sekulow, a member of the Trump legal team, told ABC News.
The New York Times reported that the president had signed off on the initial statement from his son. Sekulow denied this fact in an interview with ABC News on July 12.
“The President didn’t sign off on anything,” Sekulow said. “He was coming back from the G20, the statement that was released on Saturday was released by Donald Trump Jr., and I’m sure in consultation with his lawyers. The President wasn’t involved in that.”
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