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The White House Just Confirmed Trump Is Directly Implicated In Trying To Cover Up Russia Scandal


The White House Just Confirmed Trump Is Directly Implicated In Trying To Cover Up Russia Scandal

As the Russia investigation unfolds, President Trump has repeatedly defended himself by lashing out with insults to the media, calling the probe “nothing but a witch hunt.” But if that was the case, it’s awfully strange that he’s going to so much trouble to cover it up.

On Monday, The Washington Post broke the latest blockbuster story in this scandal, in which the president dictated a misleading statement about the nature of the fateful meeting his son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort had with a group of Russians during the campaign.

According to the report, as President Trump navigated through his disastrous week at the G20 summit in Germany last month, his advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump’s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril.

The strategy, the advisers agreed, should be for Donald Trump Jr. to release a statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful, so their account couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged.

But within hours, at the president’s direction, the plan changed.

As reported by The Post:

Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared an article, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”

The claims were later shown to be misleading.

Amazingly, the White House didn’t deny the report. In fact, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday threw Trump under the bus by confirming the story.

Asked about Trump’s involvement in writing the statement, Sanders said, “He certainly didn’t dictate, but you know, he — like I said, he weighed in, offered a suggestion, like any father would do.”

“The President weighed in on Jr’s Russia statement as any father would,” confirming the veracity of the report.

Sanders also denied that she was involved with any discussion about Trump Jr.’s initial statement.

“I wasn’t part of a conversation regarding the statement,” she said. “I was on the plane, but I wasn’t part of the conversation.”

The substantial number of people involved in that discussion were profoundly uncomfortable with Trump’s instructions. For a political flack, nothing inspires more dread than putting out a story that you know is bogus and that you don’t think will hold up.

Their fears were inevitably realized: the effort to cover up the Russia scandal has reached all the way to the president himself. And something tells me there’s more to come.

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