An early-morning tweet from President Donald Trump on Sunday is contradicting a statement he dictated on behalf of his son, Donald Trump Jr., last year regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting between high-ranking members of the Trump campaign and Russian government liaisons.
A statement dictated by the President but released in Donald Trump Jr.’s name insisted that the topic discussed between Don Jr., Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Trump campaign advisor Jared Kushner and others was primarily Russian adoption.
Trump’s tweet this morning directly contradicts that story.
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
This tweet does line up more closely with uncovered email correspondence between Trump Jr. and Russian intermediaries. When promised dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian team, Trump Jr. responded: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
The president’s tweet is the most forthright statement yet on the motivations of the meeting, which is being scrutinized by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team as evidence of possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Analysts on Twitter leaped to point this out.
The Russians offered damaging info on your opponent. Your campaign accepted. And the Russians delivered.
You then misled the country about the purpose of the Trump Tower meeting when it became public.
Now you say you didn’t know in advance. None of this is normal or credible. https://t.co/AEDYiIbXyY
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) August 5, 2018
President Trump today confessed that his son, son-in-law, and campaign chair met in June 2016 with Russian agents in hope of obtaining Russian intelligence to sway the 2016 election. Trump – who denies advance knowledge of the meeting – defends it as "totally legal."
— David Frum (@davidfrum) August 5, 2018
KEY QUESTION: If there was no underlying wrongdoing why did Trump lie TO HIS OWN LAWYER about his role in covering up the true purpose of the key event, the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 5, 2018
Trump fails to understand that the very meeting he is acknowledging is collusion — or conspiracy, if you will — to break campaign-finance laws. Insisting that it is legal to get dirt from a foreign national is politically and morally offensive https://t.co/9bEWFutU8M
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) August 5, 2018
The “totally legal” aspect of the tweet falls in lockstep with the latest spin in an ever-changing narrative put forth by the Trump administration.