Trump lawyer: President was aware of 'nothing'
Posted July 12
An attorney representing President Donald Trump insisted Wednesday that the President was unaware of his oldest son's attempts to obtain information purportedly from Russia during the 2016 election.
"Let's focus on what the President was aware of: nothing," Jay Sekulow said on CNN's "New Day."
Sekulow said he wanted to clarify "three things here."
"Number one, as I said, the President was not aware of (Donald Trump Jr.'s) meeting, did not attend the meeting, and was only aware of the emails very recently by counsel, and had not seen the emails. In fact, you know, I didn't see the email until yesterday, and I'm one of the lawyers."
Sekulow emphasized: "He was not aware, did not attend, and just found out about the emails -- or saw the emails -- yesterday."
The email chain disclosed by Trump Jr. on Tuesday showed emails from Rob Goldstone, a music publicist, referring to potentially damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to bolster Trump's campaign, and seeking to set up a meeting (which eventually took place in June 2016).
On Wednesday, Sekulow also said that the President was not involved with crafting the initial statement from Trump Jr. that was given to The New York Times over the weekend, which came in response to the Times article that first broke the news of Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian lawyer. Trump Jr. on Saturday said the meeting primarily focused on adoption policy and was not related to the campaign.
"I wasn't involved in the statement drafting at all nor was the President," Sekulow said. "I'm assuming that was between Mr. Donald Trump Jr. and his lawyers. I'm sure his lawyer was involved, that's how you do it. To put this on the President, I think, is absolutely incorrect."
That contradicts new reporting from The New York Times late Tuesday, which said that President Trump "signed off" on the statement. Challenged on this, Sekulow replied, "Well, they're incorrect."
Sekulow also said that nothing Trump Jr. had done was illegal.
"What criminal statute, what civil statute, has been violated? None," Sekulow declared. 'It's not a violation of the law here."