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Trump tweets

Trump lawyer says he wrote the tweet potentially aiding an obstruction of justice case, calls it sloppy

President Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, says he wrote the tweet Trump sent out Saturday in which he said he "had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI," and Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, "has pled guilty to those lies." Many observers were skeptical that a seasoned lawyer like Dowd would have written a tweet that legal analysts say could amount to an admission of obstruction of justice (and that used "pled" instead of "pleaded"), but Dowd insisted to The Washington Post that he had drafted the tweet, called it sloppily worded, and said, "I'm out of the tweeting business."

Trump ousted Flynn on Feb. 13, more than two weeks after acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned White House Counsel Don McGahn that Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about a phone call to the Russian ambassador. The Washington Post reported Feb. 16 that Flynn had also lied to the FBI, a felony — two days after former FBI Director James Comey says Trump privately asked him to drop the Flynn investigation; Trump fired Comey in May. Dowd told the Post that Trump knew in late January that Flynn had probably given the same false information to the FBI as he had to Pence, but said the Justice Department "was not accusing him of lying."

Legally, it doesn't really matter if Dowd wrote the tweet, former federal prosecutor Barak Cohen tells the Post. "If President Trump sends it, then Trump has adopted it. It's his statement," he said, and "it bolsters the intent for committing obstruction." A person close to the White House told the Post that the tweet was "a screw-up of historic proportions" that has "caused enormous consternation in the White House." Trying to curb Trump's tweeting is "a lost cause," a senior administration official tells Politico.