Report: Mueller Asks To Interview WH Staffers Over ‘Adoption’ Statement

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Special counsel Robert Mueller has approached the White House regarding interviews with individuals who were aboard Air Force One when staff drew up a misleading statement on the meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, CNN reported Thursday.

CNN cited three unnamed sources familiar with the conversations between Mueller’s team and the White House.

Trump Jr. originally claimed the June 2016 meeting, which was attended by a mix of Trump campaign officials and individuals with ties to Russia, concerned adoption policy. Eventually, emails he released over Twitter showed Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting after being told there was damaging information about Hillary Clinton to be had as a part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign.

Trump Jr. told Senate investigators in a prepared statement Thursday that he had accepted the meeting over his concern about “the fitness, character or qualifications of a presidential candidate,” namely Hillary Clinton. He spoke with investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee for roughly five hours.

The Washington Post previously reported that, on a flight home from the G20 summit, the President “personally dictated” the misleading statement. According to the Post, Trump’s intervention derailed what was otherwise an attempt to get ahead of the story with a statement that was truthful and couldn’t be repudiated later.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said last month that President Donald Trump had “weighed in as any father would” on his son’s original, misleading statement that the meeting was about adoption. That raised flags about potential obstruction of justice.

CNN reported that two of the sources said Mueller wanted to know “how the statement aboard Air Force One was put together, whether information was intentionally left out and who was involved.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK