The last week and a half has been a nightmare for those in the Trump Administration as well as those who once worked for the Trump Campaign. As the New York Times slowly dripped details of the June 9, 2016 meeting between Trump Campaign officials and associates of the Kremlin, the White House scurried to get their story straight. The problem is, their story was far from straight. Trump Jr. changed his narrative of how things went multiple times, and even the President contradicted himself.
This confusion spilled over yesterday as the President’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, was interviewed by Jon Karl on ABC. Sekulow began the interview claiming that anything the Trump campaign had done was merely for oppositional research, and that nothing was illegal. He also maintained that President Trump had only recently found out that the meeting even took place. But then it happened, just like President Trump has done all too often in the past, when backed into a corner, Sekulow began blaming others.
“I wonder why the Secret Service — if this was nefarious — why the Secret Service allowed these people in?” Sekulow questioned. “The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me.”
The problem with this statement is that the Secrete Service was not tasked at protecting anyone working for the campaign. This included Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, who all have been confirmed to have been at the meeting. The only person who would have required secret service protection would have been the candidate himself, Donald J. Trump.
Was Sekulow’s comments merely a misunderstanding as to what the duties of the Secret Service are, or did he slip up in suggesting that Trump himself may have actually attended the meeting? We do know that Trump was present at Trump Tower during the 4 PM meeting, but was he physically in the meeting room and did he know that the meeting was taking place? I’m sure Robert Mueller will be looking into all of this.