Who can forget that fateful Sunday in January, 2017? President Donald Trump had just been inaugurated and we were all so innocent. Sure, we were scared about the future but little did we know how much members of the White House could flat out lie to the public with a straight face. It was this innocence that perhaps contributed to the shock and surprise when Kellyanne Conway went on NBC’s Meet the Press and told a baffled Chuck Todd that the White House press secretary wasn’t lying when he lied about crowd numbers at the inauguration. Instead, he was presenting “alternative facts,” she said.
Those two words rocketed the political sphere and have now become shorthand to referring to the White House’s seemingly alternative version of reality. But now, Trump’s lawyer seems to have come up with a new version of the infamous phrase. On ABC’s Meet the Press, George Stephanopoulos asked lawyer Jay Sekulow to explain just why he has changed his story so frequently about what Trump knew and when he knew it regarding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Sekulow had denied the president was involved in crafting his son’s response to reports about the meeting, which later proved to be a lie. “Why did you deny President Trump’s involvement?” Stephanopoulos asked. “When did you learn that the denial wasn’t true?” Sekulow blamed “bad information” but his response is worth reading in full:
Well, let me tell you two things on that one. Number one, as you know, George, I was in the case at that point, what? A couple of weeks. And there was a lot of information that was gathering and as my colleague Rudy Giuliani said, I had—I had bad information at that time and made a mistake in my statement. I’ve talked about that before. That happens when you have cases like this.
As far as when did we correct it, the important part is the information that we’ve shared with the Office of Special Counsel—I’m not going to get into the details—but we were very clear as to the situation involving that trip and the – and the statements that were made to the New York Times. So I think it’s very important to point out that in a situation like this, you have—over time, facts develop.
In what is perhaps a sign of the times, Stephanopoulos didn’t even seem to flinch at the words “over time, facts develop.”