Sanders: Trump Worked On Jr.’s Russia Statement ‘As Any Father Would’

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy press secretary, speaks during a off-camera press briefing at the White House, Monday, July 10, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday said President Donald Trump did “as any father would” when he worked on a statement brushing off his eldest son’s June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer as insignificant.

“The President weighed in as any father would, based on the limited information that he had,” Sanders said during her daily briefing.

The Washington Post on Monday night reported that Trump dictated his son Donald Trump Jr.’s initial statement about his meeting with a Russian lawyer. Trump Jr. attended the meeting after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign, but characterized it as a discussion about Russian adoption in his initial response.

Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s outside legal team, repeatedly denied in July that President Trump had anything to do with his son’s statement.

Sanders called questions about Trump’s involvement with the statement “discussion, frankly, of no consequence.”

“There was no follow-up,” she said. “It was disclosed to the proper parties.”

Sanders blamed Democrats who “want to continue to use this as a PR stunt and are doing everything they can to keep this story alive and in the papers every single day.”

Asked about Trump’s involvement in writing the statement, Sanders said, “He certainly didn’t dictate, but you know, he — like I said, he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do.”

“Look, the statement that Don Jr. issued is true,” she claimed. “There’s no inaccuracy in the statement.”

Sanders also denied that she was involved with any discussion about Trump Jr.’s initial statement.

“I wasn’t part of a conversation regarding the statement,” she said. “I was on the plane, but I wasn’t part of the conversation.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK