Per a late Thursday night report by CNN, White House aides who were involved in crafting a response to the initial New York Times story on Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer may now face scrutiny from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.
In response to the first report by the Times on the meeting, Trump Jr. initially provided a statement in which he said he had met the Russian attorney to discuss adoption. However, after the Times dropped another story that revealed Don Jr. was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton prior to the meeting, the Trump scion changed his story a bit, saying the lawyer said she had information but was vague and ambiguous. We then got a release of the email chain discussing the meeting from Trump Jr. himself as the Times was about to publish a story featuring the emails.
It has since been reported that when the story was first being reported this past weekend, aides traveling with President Trump back from Europe helped put together Trump Jr’s initial statement. According to the New York Times, Trump himself approved that message.
This was all done without any input from Trump’s personal attorneys that have been retained to deal with the Russia. Attorney Jay Sekulow said in an interview that neither he nor the president was involved in crafting the statement.
It has also been reported that the legal teams of White House senior advisor Jared Kushner — who was present for the Russian meeting — and the president have known about these emails for weeks and had been strategizing on how to respond.
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