Trump Lawyer Sends Mixed Messages About Russia Probe, Mueller, Tweets

Andrew Harnik/AP

Jay Sekulow, an attorney on President Donald Trump’s legal team, on Sunday sent mixed messages about Trump’s remarks on Robert Mueller, special counsel overseeing the probe into Russian election meddling, his comments about the investigation itself, and whether Trump is being investigated for potential obstruction of justice.

On NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Sekulow claimed Trump was not under investigation for obstruction of justice, despite a Washington Post report to the contrary and a tweet from the President that appeared to confirm the report.

“There is not an investigation of the President of the United States. Period,” Sekulow said.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sekulow also claimed Trump was not notified that he was under investigation.

“There has been no notification from the special counsel’s office that the president is under investigation,” he said. “I can’t imagine a scenario where the president would not be aware of it.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” however, Sekulow appeared to be less clear on his talking points.

“So he’s being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take, by the agency who recommended the termination,” Sekulow said.

“You’ve now said that he is being investigated after saying that you didn’t,” Chris Wallace noted.

“No, he’s not being investigated,” Sekulow interjected.

“You just said, sir, you just said that he’s being investigated,” Wallace said.

Sekulow then reversed direction.

“Let me be crystal clear so you completely understand. We have not received, nor are we aware of, any investigation of the President of the United States. Period,” Sekulow said, using similar phrasing for emphasis as he did on “Meet the Press.”

“You just said two times that he’s being investigated,” Wallace said.

Sekulow also claimed Trump has not said anything about Mueller, though Trump has repeatedly railed against the appointment of a special counsel and the investigation that Mueller is heading.

While his initial response to Mueller’s appointment was measured, Trump lashed out on Twitter the following morning, calling it “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

Trump later complained the appointment “hurts our country terribly, because it shows we’re a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country.”

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.
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