Republican president-elect Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. embrace after delivering his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City.
President Donald Trump “personally dictated” his son’s statement responding to the revelation that he met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016, which left out key details about why Donald Trump Jr. took the meeting, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing “multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations.”
The early July statement to The New York Times, crafted as the president and his advisors returned from the G-20 summit in Germany, said the meeting was primarily about a “program about the adoption of Russian children.” The statement went on to say that “it was not a campaign issue at the time.”
As more details about the meeting emerged in subsequent reports, the younger Trump eventually released emails showing that he accepted the meeting after receiving an offer of compromising information on his father’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. The information was offered as part of “Russia and its government’s support” for the Trump campaign.
The latest revelation comes as President Trump is open about his frustration with the investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether his campaign colluded with the Kremlin. The Post described the president’s role in the statement as part of “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.”
Jay Sekulow, one of the elder Trump’s lawyers, told the newspaper that “apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent.”
President Trump lawyer John Dowd said in a statement to NBC on the Post’s report: “Fake news, incorrect and misinformed of no consequence.”
The White House has declined to comment.