Donald Trump says that the FBI’s Russia investigation is “the greatest witch hunt in political history,” explaining that it is merely a hoax created by the Democrats to explain why Hillary Clinton lost an election that she should have won. The most recent snafu in RussiaGate is a report that Trump personally dictated a misleading statement regarding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer while Trump was on board Air Force One July 8 returning from Germany. Washington Post:
Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared an article, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”
Over the next three days, multiple accounts of the meeting were provided to the news media as public pressure mounted, with Trump Jr. ultimately acknowledging that he had accepted the meeting after receiving an email promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign.
The extent of the president’s personal intervention in his son’s response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy.
Stupid is as stupid does and stupid seems to be a prime component of the Trump family DNA. Junior’s sharing of his emails was not the smoothest move he could have made and Senior’s dictation of a letter while on board Air Force One is blatantly compromising, and the only person to whom that is not obvious, is of course, none other than Donald Trump.
“This was . . . unnecessary,” said one of the president’s advisers, who like most other people interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations. “Now someone can claim he’s the one who attempted to mislead. Somebody can argue the president is saying he doesn’t want you to say the whole truth.”
He refuses to sit still,” the presidential adviser said. “He doesn’t think he’s in any legal jeopardy, so he really views this as a political problem he is going to solve by himself.”
Because Trump believes he is innocent, some advisers explained, he therefore does not think he is at any legal risk for a coverup. In his mind, they said, there is nothing to conceal.
And what do the lawyers say? Do they endorse this happy Trump World group-think that nothing is wrong and everything was completely above board, as is always the case in this administration, moreover?
“Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent,” Sekulow’s statement read.
Trump Jr. did not respond to requests for comment. His attorney, Alan Futerfas, told The Post that he and his client “were fully prepared and absolutely prepared to make a fulsome statement” about the meeting, what led up to it and what was discussed.
Asked about Trump intervening, Futerfas said, “I have no evidence to support that theory.” He described the process of drafting a statement as “a communal situation that involved communications people and various lawyers.”
Peter Zeidenberg, who was the deputy special prosecutor who investigated the George W. Bush administration’s leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity, bottom lines it thusly:
“The thing that really strikes me about this is the stupidity of involving the president,” Zeidenberg said. “They are still treating this like a family-run business and they have a PR problem. . . . What they don’t seem to understand is this is a criminal investigation involving all of them.”
When will they ever learn? Are they even teachable? Stay tuned.
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