Trump Team Pushed False Story Line About Meeting With Kremlin-Tied Lawyer, Memo Shows

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But Mr. Trump’s team was asked the question, again and again, by multiple reporters. The answer was consistent. Then on Monday, Ms. Sanders refused to answer the question or address her previous denial. “I’m not going to get into a back-and-forth,” she said, when pressed to explain her remarks. Mr. Sekulow said on Monday that the legal memo “reflects our understanding of the events that occurred.”

The New York Times reported last July that, during the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Trump’s eldest son, hosted a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who had promised to bring political dirt on Hillary Clinton. The lawyer was offering the meeting, emails showed, as part of the Russian government’s support for the Trump campaign.

But when approached by journalists, the younger Mr. Trump issued a statement that omitted all of that. Instead, the statement said that the meeting had primarily been about Russian adoption policy. When The Times reported that the president himself had “signed off on” the statement, Mr. Trump’s advisers pushed back hard.

“They’re incorrect,” Mr. Sekulow said on CNN.

“The New York Times is wrong?” he was asked.

“Yeah, I know, is that shocking that sometimes they make a mistake?” Mr. Sekulow said.

Then The Washington Post reported that Mr. Trump had not only approved it, but had personally dictated it. Mr. Sekulow responded, “Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate and not pertinent.”

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