“The president was not aware and did not attend this meeting.”
He was only made aware of the emails yesterday. Jay Sekulow says on TODAY pic.twitter.com/TbDfxoFp0N
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 12, 2017
As the White House reportedly begins its preparations for an all-out assault against the journalists who reported on Donald Trump Jr.’s email fiasco, the president’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, has been making the media rounds in earnest. On Tuesday, he told CNN anchor Jake Tapper, “The President, by the way, never saw an email — did not see the email — until it was seen today.” As if to emphasize the claim, Sekulow added, “So I want to be clear on that.” As a result of these comments, the lawyer’s (and, presumably, the president’s) primary talking point was born — despite evidence suggesting otherwise.
Tuesday morning, Sekulow appeared on CNN’s New Day and NBC’s Today show to reiterate his previous claim that President Trump knew nothing about Donald Jr.’s emails. “The president did not see any emails relating to this at all,” he told the latter’s co-hosts, Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer. When Guthrie asked about the meeting’s timeline in relation to comments Trump made on the campaign trail, Sekulow stood his ground. “Opposition research was being done every single day,” he said. “The president was not aware and did not attend this meeting. He was only made aware of this chain of emails very recently by his lawyers.”
New Day host Chris Cuomo, however, took a more brash approach when questioning Sekulow a few hours later. Calling the White House’s supposed acceptance of Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s denial of being a Kremlin agent “absurd,” the CNN personality railed against Trump’s lawyer. “I look at the law,” Sekulow responded. “Was there any illegality? Was there any legal difficulty or legal problems with this issue? It is not a legal issue.” Referencing Trump Jr.’s comment that he would “have done things a little differently” on Hannity,” the attorney concluded, “He’s allowed to say that because that’s how he feels.”