“I wasn’t involved in the declaration drafting at all, nor was the president,” Mr. Sekulow said on ABC’s” Great Early morning America” the exact same day, Mr. Sekulow said: “The president didn’t validate anything. He was returning from the G-20. The declaration that was launched on Saturday was launched by Donald Trump Jr., I make certain in consultation with his legal representatives. The president wasn’t included in that.”
4 days later on, on NBC’s” Fulfill the Press,”Mr. Sekulow duplicated the rejection: “The president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the declaration.”
The Washington Post reported on Monday that the president not just accepted the declaration however “personally dictated” it. The White House rejected on Tuesday that he determined it however verified that he was included, contrary to Mr. Sekulow’s rejections.
“The president weighed in, as any father would, based on the restricted information that he had,” stated Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary. “He definitely didn’t determine, but like I stated, he weighed in, used tip like any dad would do.”
Mr. Sekulow did not respond to telephone or text on Tuesday. Ms. Sanders did not react to a follow-up e-mail asking why the president’s lawyer rejected the participation that she confirmed.Donald Trump Jr.’s
conference took place on June 9, 2016, with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer with ties to the Russian federal government. She was accompanied by Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist. The more youthful Mr. Trump invited Jared Kushner, his brother-in-law and now a senior consultant at the White House, and Paul J. Manafort, then the project chairman.The original statement issued in Donald Trump Jr.’s name dismissed it
as” a brief introductory meeting”and made no mention of its stated purpose.The White House’s confirmation of the president’s involvement piqued the interest of detectives, consisting of Senator Mark R. Warner of Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is looking at Russia’s interference in last year’s election.”It seems a bit unusual the president of the United States is available in and drafts this statement that is just factually wrong about the material and context of that meeting and this appears to be a pattern of continuously aiming to take the public’s attention far from anything that deals with Russia,”Mr. Warner informed CNN.Follow Peter Baker on Twitter @peterbakernyt A version of this post appears in print on August 2, 2017, on Page A13 of the New York edition with the headline: President’Weighed In’