Donald Trump, a boy trapped in the body of a wax statue who is slowly clawing his way out, cannot help creating trouble for himself. The Washington Post reports that Trump—who seemingly leaked classified information to Russian officials, who forced out the former FBI Director for investigating his ties to Russia, and who has been wondering whether he can pardon himself—has potentially incriminated himself further by issuing a misleading statement regarding his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign.
According to the Post, on July 8, “Trump personally dictated a statement in which Donald Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had ‘primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children’ when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations.” The statement, which ran in the New York Times, stressed that the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time,” the Post notes.
However, this account is misleading (at best), as Trump Jr. himself leaked emails with the meeting’s organizer, publicist Rob Goldstone, that suggested a Russian lawyer had access to information that would compromise the Clinton campaign. Trump Jr. was reportedly in the meeting with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Trump’s statement to the Times was reckless, and, according to one unnamed advisor, “unnecessary.”
“Now someone can claim he’s the one who attempted to mislead,” the source told the Post. “Somebody can argue the president is saying he doesn’t want you to say the whole truth.”
While it’s not illegal for Trump to mislead the press, the revelation may draw more attention from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the campaign’s ties to Russia.
Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow dismissed the Post’s report, saying, “Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent.” Similarly, Trump Jr.’s lawyer Alan Futerfas said, “I have no evidence to support that theory” regarding Trump dictating the statement.
Meanwhile, Trump is likely to continue getting himself deeper and deeper into shit. “He doesn’t think he’s in any legal jeopardy,” one source told the Post, “so he really views this as a political problem he is going to solve by himself.”