aside Another Shoe Drops In Trump-Russia Probe (President Dictated Son’s 6/9/16 Meeting Response)

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TRUMP JR./ TRUMP

This is the latest news in the Trump-Russian saga…

On July 31, 2017, Ashley Parker, Carol D. Leonnig, Phillip Rucker and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer.

Excerpts:

“On the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany last month, President Trump’s advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump’s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril. ”

“The strategy, the advisers agreed, should be for Donald Trump Jr. to release a statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful, so their account couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged.”

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“But within hours, at the president’s direction, the plan changed. Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said 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 a story, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”

The claims were later shown to be misleading.

Over the next three days, multiple accounts of the meeting were provided to the 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.”

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“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.”

“As Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III investigates potential obstruction of justice as part of his broader probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, these advisers worry that the president’s direct involvement leaves him needlessly vulnerable to allegations of a cover-up.”

“This was . . . unnecessary,” said one of the president’s advisers, who like most other people interviewed for this story 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.”

 

Image result for photos of trump and trump jr“Although misleading the public or the press is not a crime, advisers to Trump and his family told The Washington Post that they fear any indication that Trump was seeking to hide information about contacts between his campaign and Russians almost inevitably would draw additional scrutiny from Mueller.”

“Trump, they say, is increasingly acting as his own lawyer, strategist and publicist, often disregarding the recommendations of the professionals he has hired.”

“Trump has said that the Russia probe is “the greatest witch hunt in political history,” calling it an elaborate hoax created by Democrats to explain Clinton losing an election she should have won.”

 

“Prosecutors typically assume that any misleading statement is an effort to throw investigators off the track, (Peter) Zeidenberg, (the deputy special prosecutor) said. What they don’t seem to understand is this is a criminal investigation involving all of them.”

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KUSHNER/ BANNON

Advocating for transparency

“The debate about how to deal with the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting began weeks before any news organizations began to ask questions about it.”

“Kushner’s legal team first learned about the meeting when doing research to respond to congressional requests for information. Congressional investigators wanted to know about any contacts the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser had with Russian officials or business people.”

“Kushner’s lawyers came across what they immediately recognized would eventually become a problematic story. A string of emails showed Kushner attended a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in the midst of the campaign — one he had failed to disclose. Trump Jr. had arranged it, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort had also attended.”

“To compound what was, at best, a public relations fiasco, the emails, which had not yet surfaced publicly, showed Trump Jr. responding to the prospect of negative information on Clinton from Russia: “I love it.”

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HOPE HICKS (CENTER)

Hope Hicks, the White House director of strategic communications and one of the president’s most trusted and loyal aides, and Josh Raffel, a White House spokesman who works closely with Kushner and Ivanka Trump, huddled with Kushner’s lawyers, and they advocated for a more transparent approach, according to people with knowledge of the conversations.”

In one scenario, these people said, Kushner’s team talked about sharing everything, including the contents of the emails, with a mainstream news organization.

“The president’s outside legal team, led by Marc Kasowitz, had suggested that the details be given to Circa, an online news organization the Kasowitz team thought would be friendly to Trump. Circa had inquired in previous days about the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions. “

“The president’s legal team planned to cast the June 2016 meeting as a potential setup by Democratic operatives hoping to entrap Trump Jr. and, by extension, the presumptive Republican nominee, according to people familiar with discussions.”

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FLYNN/ KUSHNER

Consensus overruled

“Circumstances changed when the New York Times began asking about the Trump Tower meeting, though advisers believed the paper knew few of the details. While the president, Kushner and Ivanka Trump were attending the G-20 summit, the Times asked for White House comment on the impetus and reason for the meeting.”

“During breaks away from the summit, Kushner and Ivanka Trump gathered with Hicks and Raffel to discuss Kushner’s response to the inquiry, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. Kushner’s legal team joined at times by phone.”

“Hicks also spoke by phone with Trump Jr. Again, say people familiar with the conversations, Kushner’s team concluded that the best strategy would be to err on the side of transparency, because they believed the complete story would eventually emerge.”

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HOPE HICKS

“The discussions among President Trump’s advisers consumed much of the day, and continued as they prepared to board Air Force One that evening for the flight home.”

“But before everyone boarded the plane, Trump had overruled the consensus, according to people with knowledge of the events.”

“It remains unclear exactly how much the president knew at the time of the flight about Trump Jr.’s meeting.”

“The president directed that Trump Jr.’s statement to the Times describe the meeting as unimportant. He wanted the statement to say that the meeting had been initiated by the Russian lawyer and primarily was about her pet issue — adoption of Russian children.”

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“Air Force One took off from Germany shortly after 6 p.m., about noon in Washington. In a forward cabin, Trump was busy working on his son’s statement, according to people with knowledge of events. The president dictated the statement to Hicks, who served as a go-between with Trump Jr., who was not on the plane, sharing edits between the two men, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.”

“In the early afternoon, Eastern time, Trump Jr.’s team put out the statement to the Times. It was four sentences long, describing the encounter as a “short, introductory meeting.”

“We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up,” the statement read.

Trump Jr. went on to say, “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

Today’s WorldView

“Also on the flight, Kushner worked with his team — including one of his lawyers, who called into the plane.”

“His lawyers have said that Kushner’s initial omission of the meeting was an error, but that in an effort to be fully transparent, he had updated his government filing to include “this meeting with a Russian person, which he briefly attended at the request of his brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr.” Kushner’s legal team referred all questions about the meeting itself to Trump Jr.”

“The Times’ story revealing the existence of the June 2016 meeting went online around 4 p.m. Eastern time. Roughly four hours later, Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews. Trump’s family members and advisers departed the plane, and they knew the problem they had once hoped to contain would soon grow bigger.”

“One of Trump’s attorneys, Jay Sekulow, declined to discuss the specifics of the president’s actions and his role in crafting his son’s statement about the Russian contact. Sekulow issued a one-sentence statement in response to a list of detailed questions from The Post. “

16 comments

    • Dear Kim,

      We all could have written the script as we knew DDT couldn’t resist prevaricating even when there ate other options. Donald Trump wasn’t even on the plane.

      Hugs, Gronda

  1. Gronda, why hire advisors and then routinely ignore their advice. So, the advice to Trump was be transparent about the meeting. And, the President chooses to prepare a false statement for his son. What does that tell you? He chose to have his son lie to cover up for any potential ties back to the father. Now, we are expected to believe after two refinements to the President’s story that this most curious man had no knowledge of what was discussed at the meeting. He is doing the heavy lifting for Mueller’s investigation. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      He is just making the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III case for him. He not only raises the temperature of the hot water that he is in, but he also does this for his son. What an example!

      General Kelly will have his hands full. This story lands in his lap, just he begins his new post as Chief of Staff.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, if it were not this story, it would be another one. My wife said it best, “what kind of father would ask his son to lie like that?” Senior is telling Junior, “your reputation does not matter, only mine.” Keith

        • Gronda, by the way his attorney said this morning said this story was not true, a fabrication. This afternoon, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was involved in counseling his son as any father word. Tomorrow’s story is TBD.

          Which goes to the point of why would any spokesperson adamantly defend this man when the next adamant defense makes the first one look like a fool. Keith

  2. To the entire Trump clan, I have only one thing to say … ask not for whom the bell tolls …

    Long ago I said that if we gave DDT enough rope, he would hang himself … seems he is determined to hang himself and his family too. Good enough for them.

    Hugs!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      You are so right as he has been taking a lot of the rope.

      With this family, the clueless are leading the clueless. They all think that they are smarter than they are. You and I in the same position would be fully aware of how little we knew, and we would be working diligently to have the best minds surrounding us and we would listen. They are so foolish as they don’t realize how out of their depts,, they are. How could Ivanka think her accomplishments and worth in her job as being equal to that of a 4 star general. They do live in an alt-reality.

      Thanks a million for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      .

      • Spot on, Gronda! They do not realize at all, and believe themselves to be intelligent! I seriously doubt that DDT has ever read a history book, for every time he tries to comment on some historic event or person, he botches it horribly! Like the time he said that Frederick Douglass is “doing an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.” Frederick Douglass died in 1895, more than 100 years ago!!! And Trump admitted that he had never read the entire Constitution, which is just under 8,000 words and takes under 1/2 hour to read! And yes, you and I would be spending all our spare time trying to understand the job, the law, and most of all, the needs of the citizens of the nation. But he cares not a whit. Sigh.

        Huge hugs!!!

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I have often thought that Donald Trump is his own worst enemy, and the latest news is more proof, as if we needed more, of this. I will ask my dear blogger-friend Gronda to tell you … the rest of the story. Many thanks, Gronda, for this excellent post and for allowing me to share it!

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