Today show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer did their best to pin down a slippery Jay Sekulow, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, over explosive reports regarding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer.
Guthrie kicked things off by asking Sekulow, who often makes the cable news rounds to defend Trump from his latest Russia-related flub, how the president can continue to call the Russia investigation a hoax.
In light of the release of Don Jr.’s emails revealing that he sought damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government, Guthrie asked “will the president acknowledge this is a legitimate investigation?”
Sekulow replied that “there’s no illegality” proven by the emails, holding that the meeting was a short contact amongst thousands Don Jr. took “in the heat of the campaign.”
Lauer pressed Sekulow on whether Don Jr. lied about the meeting — the president’s son initially said no meeting occurred, then said he met the lawyer to discuss adoption policy, before finally confessing he met to discuss possible dirt on Clinton — “so he lied to The New York Times?” Lauer asked.
“You want to call it a lie,” Sekulow replied. “This was a situation where he was having literally dozens of meetings every day, and a 20-minute meeting that nothing took place in.”
Sekulow held that nothing came of the meeting, and was not illegal “in and of itself,” adding that Don Jr. released the email chain himself, “unlike Hillary Clinton who deleted 33,000 emails.”
Lauer reminded Sekulow that Don Jr. only released the emails after The New York Times informed him they were writing a story about the emails.
“That’s not being transparent,” Lauer said. “That’s trying to appear as if you’re transparent when you’re backed into a corner.”
Sekulow also said that President Trump was not aware of Don Jr.’s emails, and only found out about his son’s attempts to obtain information from the Russian government “when everybody else did.”
“The president was not aware and did not attend this meeting and was only made aware of the email and the chain of emails, which he only saw yesterday as it was released,” Sekulow concluded.
Watch above, via NBC.
[image via screengrab]
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