President Donald Trump has been urged to stop tweeting about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump’s top advisers and several Russians, a source familiar with discussions tells CNN.
The President was advised that his tweeting only gives oxygen to the topic, even if those around Trump do not believe there is any truly new development.
Calling the reported concerns a “complete fabrication,” the President acknowledged that the meeting was accepted on the premise that Trump Jr. would get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
“This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!” the President tweeted.
This is hardly the first time the President has reacted to a news story on Twitter and, as a result, helped give that story more attention.
There appears to be less concern among associates about other recent Trump tweets in which he’s gone after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which, along with his legal team, he’s long sought to discredit. The New York Times reported last month that Mueller has been reviewing Trump’s tweets as part of his probe into whether the President obstructed justice.
However, a tweet Trump sent last week in which he appeared to ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop the Mueller investigation was quickly downplayed by Trump’s lawyers as the President’s opinion, not an order.
Asked in late July about Mueller’s reported review of Trump’s tweets, Rudy Giuliani, the President’s attorney, appeared to dismiss the idea. Giuliani said that “obstruction by tweet is not something that I think works real well.”
Trump’s admission through Twitter on Sunday about the purpose behind the 2016 Trump Tower meeting was the latest step in the long-evolving story from Trump, Trump Jr. and the President’s legal team.
Trump Jr. initially responded to the first revelations about the meeting by releasing a misleading statement claiming the meeting primarily concerned Russian adoption policy. As more details emerged, Trump Jr. released a new statement acknowledging there was an offer of potentially damaging information on Clinton and the Democratic Party, and he eventually published emails about the meeting.
Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow initially claimed that Trump was not involved in crafting Trump Jr.’s misleading statement. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later said that Trump had “weighed in” on the statement. Then it was revealed in June that Trump’s lawyers had admitted to Mueller in a letter sent last January that Trump had actually “dictated” the statement.
Sekulow said on Sunday his erroneous denial about Trump’s involvement was a mistake based on “bad information.”