President Donald Trump reportedly dictated a misleading statement about his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer that was ultimately issued to the New York Times by Donald Trump Jr., The Washington Post reports.
Trump dictated the statement on July 8, while he was en route back to the United States from the G-20 summit in Germany, to director of strategic communications Hope Hicks, the Post said.
The statement about a meeting Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign emphasized that it was “not a campaign issue at the time”. Instead, it said the topic had been primarily Russian adoption policy.
But a few days later, news broke that Trump Jr. arranged the meeting believing he would obtain harmful information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The New York Times first disclosed details of the meeting that took place in July 2016, and also included Jared Kushner, and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.s
According to the report, Ivanka Trump and Kushner, her husband, worked with advisors during breaks at the G-20 summit to craft a response to questions from the Times. Hicks and another aide pushed transparency, The Post said.
But the president reportedly overruled the consensus his advisors had reached on how to respond to inquires about the meeting.
Trump Jr. did not respond to the Post’s requests for comment Monday, while his attorney said he and his client “were fully prepared and absolutely prepared to make a fulsome statement” about the details surrounding the meeting.
His lawyer also said he has “no evidence to support” the “theory” that Trump was involved in writing the statement. The president’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, refused to speak about details regarding Trump’s involvement with the statement.
“Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent,” Sekulow said in his statement to The Post.