Trump’s lawyers and press secretary repeated the same lie over and over again for almost a year. No, they said, Trump did not dictate a statement with lies released in his son’s name.
“He certainly didn’t dictate,” said White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“The president was not involved in the drafting of that statement,” his lawyer Jay Sekulow told NBC News.
“That was written by Donald Trump Jr., and I’m sure in consultation with his lawyer,” Mr. Sekulow told CNN.
“The president didn’t sign off on anything,” he told ABC.
But in a confidential, hand-delivered memo to the special counsel, Trump’s lawyers acknowledged that, yes, it was Trump himself who dictated the statement, where he tried to deflect questions about a meeting with a Kremlin-tied lawyer at Trump Tower. Prosecutors want to know if that statement was part of an effort by Trump to obstruct a federal investigation. If he dictated it, it almost certainly is.
If Trump ends up in the witness chair with Mueller, he would face serious consequences for lying.
Asked about shifting explanations for statement on Trump Tower meeting, Rudy Giuliani says, “This is the reason you don’t let the president testify. Our recollection keeps changing…”
Mueller has told Trump’s lawyers that only by interviewing the president can prosecutors determine whether he had intended to obstruct justice. Trump has said he is eager to sit for an interview. He told reporters in January that he expected to do so within “two to three weeks.”
That, of course, did not happen.