Trump lawyer: President didn't see email until Trump Jr. released it
Posted July 12
Jay Sekulow, an attorney representing President Donald Trump, said Tuesday that Trump was not aware his son was offered information last year purportedly from Russia.
In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper late Tuesday night, Sekulow said that Trump had not been aware of a meeting his top campaign officials had with a Russian lawyer last year until "very recently," as the story emerged from The New York Times over the weekend.
"The President, by the way, never saw an email -- did not see the email -- until it was seen today," Sekulow said, referring to Donald Trump Jr.'s disclosure of the email thread on Twitter shortly before a Times story containing the same information was published.
"So I want to be clear on that," he added.
The email chain disclosed by Trump Jr. showed emails from Rob Goldstone, a music publicist, referring to potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian effort to bolster Trump's campaign.
Sekulow said it made no sense that Trump Jr. or anyone else at the meeting, which took place in June 2016, would have informed Trump about it.
"Why would you do that?" Sekulow asked.
At the meeting and copied on the email thread were Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, and Paul Manafort, then the chair of the Trump campaign.
Sekulow added that in his view Trump Jr.'s actions were legal, though he seemed to allow that they might not have been advisable in retrospect.
"We can look at it and say a year and a half ago, or a year ago, in the middle of a campaign, would you, should have, could you?" Sekulow said. "That's really easy to say a year later."
Tapper noted Trump's relative quiet about the story involving his son and Russia, including a lack of tweets about the issue as the story has unfolded. Asked if Trump was not tweeting at the advice of counsel, Sekulow denied offering Trump legal advice about Twitter but declined to get into specifics about his conversations with the President.
"We're not telling the President what to tweet or not tweet," Sekulow said. "Nobody wants to see their child going through this."