Trump insists Trump Tower meeting 'totally legal'

Trump blasts media at Pennsylvania rally

President Donald Trump appears to have changed his story about a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that is pivotal to the special counsel's investigation, tweeting that his son met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer to collect information about his political opponent.

"So when you look at a meeting - when you look at a meeting, George, that took place in - a - a year before the (ph) - now two years ago, the question is what law, statute or rule or regulation's been violated? I did not know about it!"

Trump and his son have both said then-candidate Trump had no advance knowledge of the meeting and that the meeting itself was not useful to the campaign.

The Trump Tower meeting also included Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, who is on trial over tax and bank fraud charges after being indicted by Mueller.

It was Trump's most direct acknowledgement that the motive for the June 2016 meeting was to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival for the presidency.

One part of Mueller's inquiry and congressional investigations has focused on a meeting months before the November election in Trump Tower in NY between Russian officials, Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, and other campaign aides.

Donald Jr initially said in a statement to The New York Times that the meeting was "primarily" about American adoptions of Russian children. Russian officials were under United States sanctions at the time.

"Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent", Trump wrote on Twitter.

CNN reported last month that Michael Cohen, the president's long-time personal lawyer and self-described "fixer" was willing to tell Mueller that Trump did know about the meeting in advance.

More news: Colbert Predicts Giuliani's Next Trump Defense: 'Since When Are Crimes Illegal?'

The president's attorneys at first denied Trump's involvement in drafting the response to the Times, but months later, in a letter meant to explain why Mueller should not interview Trump, they agreed that the president had, in fact, been the author of the statement.

He later admitted he accepted the meeting with Veselnitskaya in hopes of obtaining damaging information on Clinton, but said nothing came of it.

They later reversed course in a memo to Mueller and said Trump was indeed behind the statement that omitted the prospect of collecting dirt on Clinton. Mr Trump's lawyers acknowledged in a letter to Mr Mueller's team in January 2018 that Trump dictated the response, according to the Times.

But pundits suggested he might have tripped himself up with that statement.

Asked on Sunday why he had denied the president's involvement, one of Trump's lawyers Jay Sekulow told ABC that "I had bad information at that point".

Sekulow said that the president had the authority under Article II of the US Constitution to stop any investigation conducted by the Department of Justice.

Trump, on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, began Sunday with a series of searing tweets.

He called the "Fake" media "very risky and sick".

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