White House press secretary Sarah Sanders downplayed a report on Monday that President Donald Trump crafted a statement issued by Donald Trump Jr.in response to the revelation that the younger Trump met with a Russian attorney during the presidential campaign.
In his initial statement on the meeting, Trump Jr. said the group "primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children", and insisted that "it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow-up". After the New York Times published stories about the meeting, Trump Jr. released emails showing that the encounter was set up by a Trump associate with Russian ties who promised to deliver potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Russian government.
Additionally, The New York Times apparently only found out about the meeting through sources familiar with Jared Kushner's amended disclosure forms. The statement that was released on Saturday was released by Donald Trump Jr., I'm sure in consultation with his lawyers.
"I believe he was making a joke at the time", Sanders replied.
The Post adds Trump's "advisers worry that the president's direct involvement leaves him needlessly vulnerable to allegations of a coverup".
'Apart from being of no effect, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent, ' attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement.
The latest revelation has also created a hard dilemma for his personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, who has repeatedly defended the president in various public appearances.
A lawyer for the president responded to the Post's report, calling it "misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent". Only afterward did the lawyer turn to the subject of adopting Russian children, a practice which was ceased by a 2012 Russian law.
Trump Jr. initially claimed in his July 8 statement that the June 9, 2016 meeting was about the adoption of Russian children by USA citizens.
But when asked about this, Sanders said everything in the statement was accurate-a statement that is, on its surface, flatly false-and that "the president weighed in as any father would".
Trump dictated the statement to Hope Hicks, his longtime assistant and head of White House strategic communications. The Senate، the House of Representatives and a special counsel are all investigating alleged Russian interference in the presidential election which took the form of attempts to undermine Mrs Clinton - a claim denied by the Kremlin.
CBS News has attempted to contact Trump Jr.'s attorney for reaction to this story.