AP reports that President Donald Trump appears to have changed his story about a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that is pivotal to the special counsel’s investigation, tweeting that his son met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer to collect information about his political opponent.
“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower,” Trump wrote in a Sunday tweet. “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”
CNN’s Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza makes the point by analysing the sequence of events.
1. The New York Times reports about the meeting — between, among others, Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya — on July 8.
Trump Jr. gives the Times a statement about the meeting saying it was a short meeting related to adoptions.
2. On July 9 — the next day! — the Times reports that Trump Jr. was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton prior to the meeting. In subsequent days, Trump Jr. releases his email exchanges with music publicist Rob Goldstone — a liaison for a wealthy Russian named Aras Agalarov and his pop star son Emin — in which Goldstone makes very clear that the Russians have dirt on Clinton and want Trump’s campaign to have it.
3. Donald Trump denies knowledge of the situation in the moment, including the initial statement given to the Times that never mentioned the promise of dirt on Clinton.
Last month, way back in January, his lawyers acknowledged to special counsel Robert Mueller that not only did Trump know about Don Jr.’s initial statement but he dictated that statement himself.
On Sunday, the new twist.
What did Trump know? What is the truth?