|Don Trump Jr. (L) and Donald Trump (R)
In a newly released memo, Donald Trump’s lawyers admitted for the first time that Trump dictated a statement to deceive the public about his son’s June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian government lawyer.
In a confidential letter to special counsel Robert Mueller in January, President Donald Trump’s legal team acknowledged for the first time that Trump “dictated” the first misleading statement put out about his son’s controversial 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.
“You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.,” the letter said, according to The New York Times, which published a copy of it. “His son then followed up by making a full public disclosure regarding the meeting, including his public testimony that there was nothing to the meeting and certainly no evidence of collusion.”
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, NBC interview, 7/16/17: “The President was not — did not — draft the response. The response came from Donald Trump Jr. and — I’m sure — in consultation with his lawyer. … Let me say this — but I do want to be clear — that the President was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, daily press briefing, 8/1/17: “He certainly didn’t dictate, but he — like I said, he weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do.”
The White House has denied any involvement in the misleading statement which originally described the meeting was about child adoption. Instead, emails showed Russian actors were offering dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. took the meeting after responding, “I love it!”
The New York Daily News reports that Donald Trump Jr. and wife Vanessa are heading to divorce court:
Like father, like son.
Donald Trump Jr.’s wife has filed for divorce.
Vanessa Trump married Trump Jr. in 2005. They have five children.
President Trump has been divorced twice.
The reasons for the divorce filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court were not clear. The divorce was listed as “uncontested,” indicating the split was amicable. Trump Jr. has been traveling extensively while running his father’s business with his brother, Eric.
The “uncontested” aspect means she’s not expecting a legal battle over custody of the couple’s five children or their assets.
I get no glee from this. I don’t think we should make fun of the parents of five children divorcing.
One last thing, though.
Some folks on Twitter have suggested the possibility that this could be a ploy to move assets out of the family name in case serious legal action against the Trumps were to occur.
|Donald Trump Jr.
Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who was instrumental in setting up the now infamous meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian government lawyer, now says he used “hot-button language” to “puff up” his email to Trump Jr. in order to get him to respond.
From The Hill:
“I should have listened to that little voice in my head. But I never thought in a million years that an email I wrote in about three minutes to Don Jr. would be examined by the world many times over. I just needed to get him to respond,” Goldstone told The Sunday Times in London.
Goldstone, a former tabloid journalist who is now living in Thailand, is the manager for Emin Agalarov, an Azerbaijani-Russian entertainment artist who has boasted of having a close relationship with President Trump.
“If I’m guilty of anything, and I hate the word guilty, it’s hyping the message and going the extra mile for my clients. Using hot-button language to puff up the information I had been given,” Goldstone said. “I didn’t make up the details, I just made them sound more interesting.”
Goldstone exchanged a series of emails with Trump Jr. in 2016 to set up a meeting with a Russian lawyer who was said to have damaging information on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. responded to Goldstone, regarding the meeting.
Goldstone, Trump Jr., White House adviser Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort all attended the meeting.
|Donald Trump Jr.
As voters in Virginia are heading to the polls today to vote, Donald Trump Jr. thought he would do his part to help the Republican candidate for governor, Ed Gillespie.
The junior Trump tweeted out messages like, “Let’s take @EdWGillespie across the finish line tomorrow! Virginia: get out and vote for Ed & entire GOP ticket #VAGov #VA.”
The only problem is: today is the election, not tomorrow.
And Jr. tweeted the wrong day TWICE!
Needless to say, the Twitterverse had a field day:
|Don Trump Jr. (L) Donald Trump (R)
Bloomberg reports that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian government lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower last year, says Don Jr. indicated a Trump administration would be open to re-examining a law targeting Russia if they “came to power.”
Veselnitskaya said she went to the New York meeting to show Trump campaign officials that major Democratic donors had evaded U.S. taxes and to lobby against the so-called Magnitsky law that punishes Russian officials for the murder of a Russian tax accountant who accused the Kremlin of corruption.
“Looking ahead, if we come to power, we can return to this issue and think what to do about it,’’ Trump Jr. said of the 2012 law, she recalled. “I understand our side may have messed up, but it’ll take a long time to get to the bottom of it,” he added, according to her.
Veselnitskaya also said Trump Jr. requested financial documents showing that money that allegedly evaded U.S. taxes had gone to Clinton’s campaign. She didn’t have any and described the 20-minute meeting as a failure.
A lawyer for Trump Jr., Alan Futerfas, said the president’s son had no comment about the interview, the first time Veselnitskaya has offered details about what was discussed at Trump Tower in Manhattan. In the past, Trump Jr. has said that he had wasted his time seeing the lawyer because she provided no useful information.
You’ll recall Junior took the meeting having been told Veselnitskaya had dirt that would incriminate Clinton.
Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting saying, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”