The Slatest

President Admits Trump Tower Meeting Was to Get Dirt on Clinton Amid Reported Concern for Son’s Liability

President Donald Trump waves upon arrival at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 4, 2018.
President Donald Trump waves upon arrival at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 4, 2018. MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

President Donald Trump is now openly saying that the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was to get information on Hillary Clinton. Although comments about the meeting have been shifting since it was first revealed there was often the undertone that at least part of the purpose of the sit-down with a Russian attorney was to discuss adoption policies. Moscow banned American families from adopting Russian children in 2012. Now, however, Trump is openly saying that the main point of the meeting was to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere,” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday morning. “I did not know about it!” The president wrote the tweet to deny reports that he is concerned that his son Donald Trump Jr. may have inadvertently gotten himself into legal trouble with the meeting.

Trump seemed to be referring to reports in both CNN and the Washington Post that reported his apparent concern for his son. “As one adviser described the president’s thinking, he does not believe his son purposefully broke the law, but is fearful nonetheless that Trump Jr. inadvertently may have wandered into legal jeopardy,” the Post reported. CNN, meanwhile hears from a source that Trump has upped the ante on his attacks against special counsel Robert Mueller because of concern that the probe may be closing in on his son.

On ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos pressed Trump attorney Jay Sekulow about the contradictory statements relating to the Trump Tower meeting and the president’s role in crafting a response to reports of the sit-down. “When he first talked about this meeting, he denied having anything to do with statements describing the meeting, describing the meeting in a misleading way, as primarily about adoptions,” Stephanopoulos said. “Now it’s shifted.” Sekulow explained his denial that the president had anything to do with crafting the response about the meeting was due to “bad information” that caused him to make “a mistake in my statement.” To defend himself, Sekulow explained that “over time, facts develop.”

Trump followed up his tweet dismissing that he is concerned about his son with two more messages criticizing the Mueller investigation, largely rehashing things he has said before. The president says the investigators are made up of “17 angry Democrats” who are carrying out the “most one sided Witch Hunt in the history of our country.” He went on to blast the media because it “refuses to report the lies and corruption having to do with the Rigged Witch Hunt.”