In a flurry of tweets on Sunday morning where he again lashed out at the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and any ties to his campaign, President Donald Trump acknowledged that his son had met with a Russian lawyer in June of 2016 in order to get ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton, making clear that previous explanations saying it was a meeting about U.S.-Russian adoption policies were not true.
“This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere,” said Mr. Trump in a tweet, rejecting press stories this weekend that he is concerned that his son Donald Jr. could be in legal jeopardy over the meeting.
The original story about the June 9, 2016 meeting, where Trump Jr., the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and top campaign aide Paul Manafort, met with Russia lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, was that the group “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.”
But that Russian adoption cover story has now changed – though the President again on Sunday denied that he knew about the meeting with the Russian lawyer in advance.
On an extended summer break at his New Jersey golf course, the President’s comments on Twitter about the Russia investigation came as the Special Counsel’s office is still trying to reach an agreement for testimony by Mr. Trump in the investigation of Russian interference in 2016.
On the ABC News program, “This Week,” one of the President’s attorneys said any effort to force Mr. Trump to talk would result in a legal fight that might get to the nation’s highest court.
Sekulow was also pressed on why he also had said that the Trump Tower meeting was about adoption.
“I had bad information at that time and made a mistake in my statement,” Sekulow said on ABC, as he said that, “over time facts develop.”
As one might expect, Democrats in the Congress were less than charitable in their reaction to the President’s Sunday tweets.
In July of 2017, Trump Jr. was forced to acknowledge that the meeting had not been about adoption, as emails showed the subject line was, “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential,” offering what was characterized as “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”