August 1, 2017

The news broke last night that Donald Trump had dictated Don Jr.'s statement about his meeting with Russians in Trump Tower, and talking heads are trying to figure out the legal fallout for the White House.

"This report comes after repeated denials from the president's attorney and the White House is worried that the president has somehow exposed himself and others to additional scrutiny," Alysin Camerota said.

"Give us the headline here and what your reckoning is of the development," Chris Cuomo said to Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, who was part of the team that broke the story.

"The really significant thing here is that the president is the moving hand that misleads the public, the press," Leonnig said.

"It's not a lie to mislead the public or the press, but it is a major problem for the president, and everyone who is involved in crafting this statement with him, because we have a special counsel who's investigating obstruction, and any effort to lie or mislead is part of a narrative of potential obstruction.

"If indeed the special counsel finds evidence of that, this helps play into that pattern, why did the president share something that wasn't true? Why did he order that information be concealed?"

"So you have potential illegality, that's for the special counsel," Cuomo said.

"Then you have just wrong. Being wrong, doing the wrong thing. Jay Sekulow, one of the president's attorneys, on this show said the president had no role in the drafting of that statement. What do you make of those types of answers? Is this just protecting the president? Do you think everybody knows within that White House and the legal community that is representing different members of the White House that the president had a heavy hand?"

"I think Jay certainly knows this now," Leonnig said.

"Whether he knew that at the moment, I can't say. But remember, this is a moment, as our reporting shows, when the president, his daughter, son-in-law, and some of his closest advisors are in Europe. They're far away from their legal team. and the president, being Donald Trump and the businessman that he is, he decides to take this bull by the horns and handle it himself.

"Actually, our reporting also indicates that many of the lawyers were shell shocked when they found out this statement had been issued and were trying to find out after the fact what in the world had happened."

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.