Speed Reads

Trump-Russia

Trump publicly admitted his son, campaign met with Russians to get dirt on Clinton, which may be a crime

On Sunday morning, President Trump interrupted his 11-day working vacation at a golf resort in New Jersey to acknowledge that the purpose of the 2016 meeting his son Donald Trump Jr. held with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was "to get information on an opponent," Hillary Clinton. In doing so, he conceded that the first explanation for the meeting, which he dictated to Don Jr. from aboard Air Force One, was false.

Trump's lawyers and two White House press secretaries later said falsely that Trump didn't have anything to do with the misleading statement, and on Sunday, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow admitted to ABC News he "had bad information at that time and made a mistake in my statement." Sekulow went on to ask "what law, statue, or rule or regulation has been violated" by meeting with Russians offering Kremlin "dirt" on Clinton, because, "nobody has pointed to one"; George Stephanopoulos suggested several.

"It is illegal for a campaign to accept help from a foreign individual or government," The New York Times explains. "The president and his son have maintained that the campaign did not ultimately receive any damaging materials about Mrs. Clinton as a result of the meeting. But some legal experts contend that by simply sitting for the meeting, Donald Trump Jr. broke the law." Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who's examining the meeting, "is investigating whether anyone associated with Trump coordinated with the Russians, which could result in criminal charges if they entered into a conspiracy to break the law," The Washington Post adds.

The impetus for Trump's Sunday morning tweet was to deny a Post article from Saturday in which a Trump adviser said the president "does not believe his son purposefully broke the law, but is fearful nonetheless that Trump Jr. inadvertently may have wandered into legal ­jeopardy." Trump also insisted Sunday he didn't know about the meeting, an assertion contradicted by former lawyer Michael Cohen.