Wash Post: Trump Personally Dictated Misleading Public Statement Of Trump Jr. On Russian Meeting

 

220px-Washington_Post_buildingdonald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedThe Washington Post is reporting that President Donald Trump personally dictated the misleading statement issued by Donald Trump Jr. about his meeting with a Russian leader — a meeting that was expressly set up to received damaging information from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton.  The report that the President became personally involved in the statement — which inaccurately portrayed the meeting — is yet another example of an operation that has stumbled through scandal after scandal.  Where most Administrations would have actively insulated the President from any role in the statement, Trump directed events and dictated the four-line statement that would be issued by his son.

The detailed account of the Post reaffirmed the image of the Administration as a amateurish, but it does indicate that some aides want to tell the full truth and get ahead of the scandal.  They were overruled reportedly by the President and some found out only with the release of the statement.

It is difficult to describe how ill-advised such an action was for the President.  There was a Special Counsel in the field looking into any obstruction or coverup.  The President was accused of pressuring members of his government to scuttle the investigation.  The obvious move was to insulate the President from any direct move. This was not only for his benefit but the benefit of Donald Jr.  Having the President involved in the drafting of any statement — let alone a misleading statement — deepened the controversy and fueled the suspicion of a coordinated coverup centered in the White House.

The staff clearly already knew that Donald Jr. took the meeting with the intention of colluding with the Russians. They also knew that the truth would inevitably come out.  They were working on the correct response — full and early disclosure on their own time — when the President took over the response on the flight home on Air Force One.  The statement said that Donald Jr. and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” and that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”  That misleading statement would deepen and extend the controversy.

The issuing of a misleading statement is not a crime in itself or half of Washington would be serving time.  However, it can be evidence of an effort to cover up.  More importantly, it moves the center of gravity of the controversy not just into the White House but around the President himself.  He is shown directing events and crafting misleading statements. That gives the Special Counsel even more justification to focus on the White House as part of his mandate to look into Russian meddling into the election. It was the worst possible move among an array of obviously superior options.

The story also shows that the architect of these events remains the President himself.  Adding Gen. Kelly as Chief of Staff is a solid move toward regaining control of events at the White House, but the problems will continue unless the President himself shows greater restraint at such moments.

75 thoughts on “Wash Post: Trump Personally Dictated Misleading Public Statement Of Trump Jr. On Russian Meeting”

  1. “The Washington Post is reporting that President Donald Trump personally dictated the misleading statement issued by Donald Trump Jr. about his meeting with a Russian leader…”
    My first thought when reading this was, so?
    I’m not a particular fan of Trump’s; I think he’s a loudmouth bloviator who frequently shoots himself in the foot. Having said that, however, I also think that there is nothing at all unusual in the President trying to direct a member of his family on what to say to minimize the damage. It’s not a big deal, and the attempt to paint EVERYTHING Trump does as a source of hideous evil undercuts the goal; it’s now to the point that most people simply tune the Trump criticism out as being hyperbole. Fewer accusations with more substance would have been more helpful in the WaPo’s campaign to discredit the president.

    1. Since you’re not really following along to well and obviously didn’t read the story, the reason this is relevant is because the the description of the meeting given by Donny Jr. was materially false. Directing someone to issue a materially false statement (a lie, in other words) about a matter the person knows is being investigated can in many instances be considered obstruction of justice. This is evidence, which you requested in asking for “more substance.” I wouldn’t be too concerned about what the Washington Post thinks about obstruction of justice; rather, it’s what Mr. Mueller thinks about such matters which should be of concern.

      This is to head-in-the-sand jane

      1. The discussion of adoption is not as off base as it seems. The ability for US citizens to do Russian adoption is part of sanctions. Sounds like the truth to me, even if it was given out piecemeal.
        MOST importantly, it is NOT a crime to lie to the press!!

    2. Other than the fact that the statement was a lie, I suppose you’re right.

  2. Incoherence and hysteria are skyrocketing.

    The birthrate and population are “death spiraling.” .

    Enough!

    Repeal the 19th Amendment.

      1. No.

        She may avail herself of the “intelligible and serene” exemption.

        We’ll address that in the repealing amendment.

  3. This is a weak attempt to entrap President Trump in a secondary “process crime.”

    This alleged transgression is a derivative of the initial abuse of power as a conspiracy

    to conduct an illegal investigation of an individual without probable cause.

    This “witch hunt” and “fishing expedition” is not a proper investigation of a crime.

    The initial hypothesis had a nebulous relationship to international counter-intelligence.

    Mueller and Rosenstein should be arrested and “perp-walked”

    for abuse of power, illegal acts under the color of authority, conspiracy, usurpation

    and attempting to conduct a coup d’etat in America.

    1. Please post more of this type of material. It reaffirms my belief that Trumpists are fact deniers and evidence allergic.

      This is to “indicted for what”? george

      1. You are making up crimes as you go along. There are none here. You are investigating a man, not a crime. And just think, after Comey proved Hillary’s crimes and guilt,without authority, he exonerated her, claiming she had no “intent,” indeed where no intent was required by law (i.e. mishandling classified material).

  4. “The detailed account of the Post reaffirmed the image of the Administration as a amateurish.” As unreliable as the Post has become, I do not take at face value any of its items that are based on anonymous sources.

      1. Many of us agree with you. The NYT and CNN have had to correct or retract quite a few stories. The left either doesn’t know or doesn’t accept this fact.

    1. Many of us agree with you. The NYT and CNN have had to correct or retract quite a few stories. The left either doesn’t know or doesn’t accept this fact.

  5. “I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

    – Bill Clinton
    ________________________________________________________________________

    “When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it.

    I didn’t inhale and never tried it again.” –Bill Clinton
    ________________________________________________________________________

    “It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.”

    –Bill Clinton
    ________________________________________________________________________

    “What, like with a cloth or something?”

    Hillary Clinton

        1. And if you can’t explain it, you can’t back it up. You are again bringing the Clintons into a Trump story/issue. Maybe try to stay on point.

          1. Saddle up. Wild Bill, the real criminals are getting away. The end game of your fake news will be fake charges. Good luck with that. Little Debbie is in Big Trouble. If you want lies, ask the Clinton Crime Family for a few.

  6. FBI Director delineates crimes by Hillary.

    James Comey FULL Press Conference.

    1. Wouldn’t this full court press to find some wrongdoing with Trump and Co. be an investigation into Matters, and the non-investigation into actual wrongdoing by Clinton and the DNC be considered Anti-Matters?

      Just sayin’

      1. “This full court press” is an abuse of power as a conspiracy to conduct an illegal investigation of an individual without probable cause. It is not a proper investigation of a crime. The initial hypothesis had a nebulous relationship to international counter-intelligence.

    1. The story, like so many others, has been confirmed by the White House. Are you getting tired of winning yet?

      1. No. The White House did not confirm the NYT or WP story. The WH said Trump reviewed Don’s statement and gave advice as any father would. Even IF they lied, it is not a crime to mislead or lie to the press.

  7. What a bullsh*t story!!! I read the WaPo article, and came away knowing less than I did before. Did Trump dictate the whole thing? Or, did Trump say, “Hey, why don’t you add that Russiagate wasn’t a campaign issue at the time? Was it a “dictation” or a “discussion”??? What was the level of Trump involvement, and was he even involved at all??? Who knows,

    This is just gossip magnified to a Breaking News! level to generate more negative Trump headlines, because that gets clicks from the liberal idiots.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

      1. True. I wonder if I could sue them and get my click back, since it was obtained under false pretenses???

        Because since clicks translate to money, it is a financial rip off in a fashion. . . Kind of like a bait and switch.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

  8. Fire Sessions and replace him with an AG who will impanel Grand Juries to investigate the daily felonious leaking of classified information!

  9. Once again I keep reading that a news report based on leaks is evidence that the president “misled” us. Sorry, but a leak is not EVIDENCE of anything. The press and the White House can keep on playing this game indefinitely, and who’s to stop them. The media loves it, and the country suffers. But unless some official action is taken, by Mueller or Congress or both, all of this speculation is meaningless. If we have nothing to look forward to except more of this game, I’m for exposing the identity of the leakers. They are part of the stink, and let’s purify what we can NOW.

    1. Sit down; this will make you very sad….Mueller, you see, is most definitely taking “some official action.”

      This is to “How can they indict someone for that” iggy

  10. When one believes he is the smartest person in the room, and Trump is really, really smart, believe him, he is the only one whose words mean anything. So everyone else, sfu, and do as he says. Perhaps the latest faux pas will be sufficient that the smartest person might listen. I see the staff changes as good moves. Replacing Priebus with someone who will insist on order instead of chaos is a key move. I hope he is successful. He hasn’t solved the communications director problem, but has he moved in the right direction. I still find his cabinet picks to be dreadful. His speeches are still full of distasteful and sometimes violent rhetoric which must never become “normal” in our society. He has a looong way to go to be respected.

  11. One can argue the ideology of progressive versus conservative, what the founding fathers meant, the whole second amendment, and on and on. However, one thing is crystal clear at this point, or should be; Trump is mentally unbalanced and his crew are idiots. This is what being born into unlimited wealth, power, connections, and privilege often times puts forth. America made a yuge mistake. Is America big enough to admit it and move on?

        1. Reportedly, a lawsuit against Fox was recently filed. The allegation is Trump’s Whitehouse collaborated in creating Fox’s false narrative about Seth Rich’s death.
          If the claims are proven true, Putin’s control of Russian press has its counterpart in the Fox network’s complicity with the U.S. executive branch. The description of “chilling”, which is the max. complaint Turley has been willing to lodge against Trump, is a grand understatement.
          Murdoch is a significant player in the U.S. oligarchy.

            1. Fox, which you cite, has had a credibility problem from the beginning. A Fox executive is quoted as saying the network’s audience wants to feel informed, distinguishing it from actually being informed. Research showed Fox viewers were less well informed than those who listened to no news.
              Media sources describe Bukowski (paraphrasing) as a pal and funder of Trump. A comment from him when he is accused of involvement has zero value.

            2. What happened to Joseph Rago, a WSJ journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism of Obamacare?

    1. Trump is making mistakes to be sure, and I’m sure Mueller will be looking into this latest revelation. But having him in the White House is not a mistake. Trump gets his four years and then the voters will decide again whether he stays or goes. That’s how it works.

      Every day that Hillary is not back in the WH is a very good day for America. I would put someone with inherited wealth in the WH over a corrupt criminal who became massively wealthy by way of “public service.” And that’s just what the voters did.

      1. Isaac takes issue with Trump’s inherited wealth. I don’t. Remember the Clinton’s were “dead broke” due to all their legal fees from their never-ending scandals? Now these dedicated “public servants” are massively wealthy. Family “charity” my ass.

        Of the long list of Hillary Clinton scandals, I think my favorite is Lootergate, where Bill and Hillary literally looted the White House when they moved out, filling up a moving van with hundreds of thousands dollars worth of furnishings they used to furnish their new mansions and eventually had to return to the White House. Did you also know they setup gift registries so their supporters could help them furnish their mansions?

        Yes, every day without the Clinton’s back in the WH is a very good day for America. Accomplishment number one for Trump: keeping Hillary out of the WH. Everything else is icing on the cake.

        1. Last comment. If Joe Biden had run, I believe he would have won, and I most likely would have voted for him. But the Democrats shot themselves in the foot with Hillary Clinton as their candidate. That’s the bottom line. And Trump gets his four years because of it.

          1. Sorry. THIS is the last comment. I would not have voted for Bernie, nor do I believe he would have beat Trump. But Joe Biden would have beat Trump and I believe he would have been a very good president. Hillary Clinton should be no where near the WH ever in her lifetime. HRC should not even be Mayor of NYC. She’s THAT bad. Trump gets his four years.

          2. This business of Clinton being worse than Trump is rapidly losing credibility. Granted Clinton is a scumbag along with her husband. But so is Trump and a worse one for a lot longer. The difference is that Trump is also vastly more inept than Clinton. When all you have to compare is the aptitude for governing, Clinton simply would have been the less catastrophic choice; better for America or less worse, however one sees it.

            Trump is proving himself a few more bricks short of the necessary load than Clinton.

            1. “Vastly more inept”? “Less catastrophic choice”? “Better for America”? I respectfully disagree. Witnessing just how corruptly, ineptly and incompetently Hillary ran her billion-dollar-losing campaign is all the proof one needs.

              1. Tbob,
                Your level of reasoning is not within the reach of issac. Issac has hitched his brain to the horse that broke down on the back stretch and yet he clings to the belief she would still beat the horse that won the race.

                His delusion is impressive; pathetic, but impressive.

            2. At some point, you have to put your foot down no matter which side of a binary choice you put it.

              Since out of two candidates, one of them has to win, you may end up with the worst candidate (and to me even that remains highly debatable between Trump and Hillary) but still be glad you did – because you simply can’t deal with them both at once in the one place you still have a real say; your vote.

              A lot more is involved than simply two individuals. In Hillary’s case, true, there was a lot of personal baggage that many of us could not get past before we even get to her militaristic bent that frightened many more of us, but there was also the whole issue of the Democratic party and it’s completed metamorphosis into something almost the direct opposite of what it stood for 50 years ago. It’s raison d’être now seems to be to rip off the poor, ruin the middle class, and wage constant war to further the global interests of it’s corporate bosses. Finally, it’s electoral strategy illustrates this contempt for its base with a big extended middle finger that says: “they will vote for us because they have no where else to go.”

              In other words, a truly moribund party that is just as guilty as the “other” party in sucking the life out of our oh-so fragile experiment in self governance. All of this, no matter what your view of the Republicans. Until we can come up with an entirely new party that actually stands for the needs of the people, or somehow bring the Democrat party back from it’s zombie like war mongering, corporate and finance driven insanity, we must simply take or make other alternatives – even – GASP – Republicans so as to make it clear that YES we do have somewhere else to go other than those hyper hypocritical back stabbers, even if it’s to hell and back.

  12. On another front, the question is To lock them up or let them loose

    Pine Ridge, SD Oglala Sioux Tribal Council Meeting July 28, 2017

    OST Prosecutor wants criminals locked up but the Judge lets them loose. The Judge stands before tribal council & a vote is taken to punish him. Roll video for results.

  13. It is difficult to describe how ill-advised such an action was for the President.

    Oh, as a ghostwriter for JT, give it the old college try.

    Having the President involved in the drafting of any statement — let alone a misleading statement — deepened the controversy and fueled the suspicion of a coordinated coverup centered in the White House.

    There you go. That wasn’t so difficult now was it. See you and your tabloid reporting next time.

  14. Fabrications appears to be the guiding pattern of Trump! Thank you Mr. Turley for shining light on the tactics of our fake president!

    1. The water is up to your chin, when you hear the order to abandon ship its fake news. Stay where you are please.

  15. Some observations to accompany the story. The only source of this leak (if completely true and that’s a big “if” when we’re talking WaPo) had to be someone in the President’s inner circle. It was not leaked to help the President but to harm him in the eyes of the public. Someone who would engage such a breach of confidence has an agenda. People who breach positions of trust generally aren’t good folks and their credibility is suspect.

    1. “People who breach positions of trust generally aren’t good folks and their credibility is suspect.”

      Have you seen who’s president.

      1. I haven’t seen him breach any confidences unless you’re referring to the disclosure of Israeli terror intelligence information to the Russians which Netanyahu said was not a breach of security.

    2. The story had multiple sources (I’ll allow that their motives are suspect) but the history of this reporting has been overwhelmingly trending to accuracy. When news of the meeting took broke there was the statement about adoptions, when copies of the emails were about to be published, Trump Jr tweeted them, names of additional people present and their histories with Russian Intelligence, money laundering and ties to Putin have only come from the Press, later downplayed by Trump. First Trump didn’t know for days, then he composed the response. Which seems to be the more likely truth, Fake news or Lying White House?

      1. “Adding Gen. Kelly as Chief of Staff is a solid move toward regaining control of events at the White House, but the problems will continue unless the President himself shows greater restraint at such moments.”

        Do you think it’s appropriate for Turley to conclude this article with praise for Trump in naming Kelly as the new Chief of Staff ( “a solid move”)? And specifically for the purpose of “regaining control of events at the WH”?

        Why would Turley even inject this commentary into this bombshell revelation that otherwise proves Trump and his lawyer lied about the Trump Jr. mtg., except for the purpose of ameliorating its significance and promoting the narrative that Trump is fit for office and is rebounding from his scandals, which are really the result of his lack of emotional “restraint” rather than the clear malfeasance of his actions?

        1. As far as Turley’s motives I can only speculate. An objective look at Kelley could cause one to be hopeful that he can have some impact on the chaos in the White House but as much of the chaos is created by his boss, I suspect he’ll be unsuccessful. I hear much talk about his lack of political background. While I think the Pentagon is a highly political body and a General couldn’t have accumulated his stars without some acumen. I submit Congress is an entirely different beast and lack of institutional knowledge will hurt him. He also has to cope with the nepotism in the White House and the leaks are coming from everywhere and will be hard to root out.
          Back to Turley, he seems to have made allowances for all of Trump’s actions with the strongest thing he’s said against him being something like, “while I would have done it differently.” For those who call Turley a “leftist,” I don’t know how they’re drawing that conclusion.
          I suspect the lies and misdirections if repeated under oath will bring an end to this madness along with an exposure of Trump’s financial ties.

          1. You’re being too kind to Turley: It’s not just “allowances” he’s making for Trump: He’s COMPLICIT in enabling Trumps’ historic racism and the utterly discredited idea that Trump is in any way fit for office.

            I don’t have to detail Trump’s historic racism as that has been well documented to the point of mainstream saturation. In other words, one must be willfully blind to the facts of Trump’s racism to deny it. Turley, however, has no such excuse: He has never disavowed Trump’s Birtherism, or claims that Obama is a terrorist, or Trump’s wiretap claims. Turley has not disavowed the efforts of Trump’s historic roll-back of civil rights at every level, including voting rights. And Turley has said nothing on the mass disproportionate racial impact of Trump’s healthcare and prison policies. And what’s so breathtaking about all of this is that Turley holds a respected position in legal academia in the area of “public interest”! — So apparently Turley believes nothing described here falls within the purview of the public interest: It’s disgraceful.

            As for Trump’s fitness for Office: Turley’s refusal to state the obvious and now mainstream view that Trump is wholly UNFIT for office only continues to damage his eroding reputation. Every day Turley waits to state this obvious fact is another day of shame for Turley because he WILL eventually come to this conclusion publicly. But when he does it will be meaningless….

            1. If Professor Turley were to ever enter into the arena of full frontal insanity that we call politics in this country, I would vote for him long before I would vote for any of our political greed machines of any stripe currently serving robbing us blind in Congress.

              As to why people on this site call him left, or left leaning, it is purely a rhetorical flourish that most of them are no longer even aware of. It goes by the simplistic logic that one must relentlessly push the Overton window to the right; it’s like a patriotic duty, and calling people or ideas leftist, even when they are blatantly right wing, they imagine, helps to do that.

              1. I should add, that it’s easy to occasionally misread euphemisms in Professor Turley’s posts. I suspect some of his comments that seem so mildly indulgent of Trump’s antics are actually scathing.

                Professor Turley (in mnsho) puts a high value on remaining analytical, and outwardly neutral, which suggests he’s cutting Trump more of a break than he actually is.

                For the rest. He does lean right (depending, of course on a somewhat standardized def. of right and left) but not so much that he would loose his balance.

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