President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden speech on Wednesday was notable largely just because it was so absurd, but he also dropped a piece of information about the infamous Trump Tower meeting before the 2016 election for the first time.
The president suggested that an opposition research firm was behind the Trump Tower meeting, told the press that they should be “ashamed” of themselves and announced that he won’t work with Democrats until they stop investigating him.
But, at one moment, the president said that his son, Donald Trump Jr., called him just before the famous Trump Tower meeting in which he met with a Russian lawyer.
Trump was talking about the meeting and the phone calls that were made around the time that had been scrutinized by Mueller’s team. The president said, “[Donald Trump Jr.] had the meeting and he called me and he had the meeting after.”
Here’s that admission:
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 22, 2019
This is just another revelation in the long string of disclosures about that meeting. At first, President Trump told Reuters that he didn’t know about the meeting until the New York Times broke a story on it.
When the Times wrote that story, Trump Jr. released a statement. At first, the president said that he had nothing to do with the statement but, finally, the White House admitted that he at least helped his son put the statement together.
Then, in the summer of 2018, Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen said that the president knew about the meeting in advance.
The meeting is important because it took place in the summer of 2016, only a few months before the election and because Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner were both in the meeting. Kushner struggled to get a security clearance because he lied about his contacts with foreign officials
But, Wednesday is the first time that the president said that he talked to Donald Trump Jr. before he went into the meeting.