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The White House admitted Tuesday that President Donald Trump "weighed in" on the statement released by his eldest son in response to revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016

By Tierney McAfee
August 01, 2017 03:50 PM
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Donald Trump Jr. looks on as his father, Donald Trump, gives a political speech in 2016
| Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty

The White House admitted Tuesday that President Donald Trump “weighed in” on the misleading statement released by his eldest son in response to revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016.

“The statement that Don Jr. issued is true,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday. “There’s no inaccuracy in the statement.”

“The president certainly didn’t dictate but, you know, he weighed in, offered suggestions like any father would do,” Sanders continued, adding that Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer was “of no consequence.”

“There was no follow-up. It was a disclosed to the proper parties,” she said. “The Democrats 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. The president, the American people, they voted America first, not Russia first, and that’s the focus of our administration.”

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Sanders comments’ appeared to contradict Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, who has repeatedly denied that the president helped draft his son’s statement.

In a July 16 interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Sekulow said: “The president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement.”

He doubled down on the denial on Monday after The Washington Post reported that Trump dictated a statement, later shown to be misleading, in which his son said the meeting he had with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was not related to his father’s presidential campaign.

According to the Post report, the president “personally dictated the statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had ‘primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.’ ”

“Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent,” Sekulow said in a statement to the Post.

Emails later released by Trump Jr. showed he eagerly agreed to meet the woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.