Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump insists Trump Tower meeting 'totally legal'

Trump insists Trump Tower meeting 'totally legal'

So that infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in NY when a Russian operative met with members of President Trump's campaign team - why did that meeting happen? After initially claiming that the meeting had nothing to do with Clinton and instead about Russian adoption sanctions, this weekend's tweet seemed to admit that Trump's team went to the meeting in hopes of getting the dirt that was promised. But before we leave Trump Tower, I mean, could this be causing some heartburn for the president's lawyers, and maybe actually these tweets catching Robert Mueller's eye a bit? It claimed that the primary goal of the meeting was to discuss adoptions, even though that's not why Trump Jr. took the meeting in the first place.

On Sunday, US media including the Washington Post, CNN and AP reported that Mr Trump was anxious Donald Trump Jr could be in legal trouble because of the 9 June 2016 meeting with Ms Veselnitskaya.

CNN reported last month that Michael Cohen, the president's longtime personal lawyer and self-described "fixer" was willing to tell Mueller that Trump did know about the meeting in advance.

Sekulow, repeating the recent mantra of Trump's legal team and of the president himself, said there "has been no evidence at this point of any type of collusion by the president". The self-contradictory and legally questionable nature of Trump's claims prompted his own advisers to beg him to stop tweeting about the incident.

Abrams also said that Trump's Sunday tweet could be additional fodder for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign participated in a criminal conspiracy with Russian Federation to rig the 2016 presidential election.

Former New Jersey Governor and Trump ally Chris Christie, meanwhile, offered a more tempered defense of the president's tweeting Sunday on ABC.

Trump has said similar things about the June 2016 meeting.

They later reversed course in a memo to Mr Mueller and said Mr Trump was indeed behind the statement that omitted the prospect of collecting dirt on Mrs Clinton.

It is common for USA politicians to research their opponents during a campaign. "Your campaign accepted. And the Russians delivered", tweeted Rep. Adam Schiff, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. But Giuliani and other Trump lawyers have repeatedly warned him about the potential challenges of doing so and delayed a decision.

At the time, Donald Trump Jr issued a statement explaining that he and the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had "primarily discussed a programme about the adoption of Russian children".

One of Mr Trump's lawyers, Jay Sekulow, said on Sunday that the meeting had nor broken any laws.

Donald Trump Jr. stands onstage with his father then-presidential nominee Donald Trump after a debate against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, in September 2016.

Despite a show of force from his national security team this week as a warning against future Russian election meddling, Trump again deemed the matter a "hoax" this week.

"I think from a practical standpoint most people would've taken that meeting".

In another, he expressed frustration with both the media and Mueller's probe.

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