While answering questions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it looks like President Trump made use of some very strategic language to protect himself.
A new report from CNN sheds light on two of the answers Trump has provided Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump reportedly says in writing that he did not speak with political consultant Roger Stone about WikiLeaks, nor did he know ahead of time about his son's 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer who said she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
The answers come with an important caveat, though, as the president reportedly "made clear he was answering to the best of his recollection." Legal experts told CNN that this caveat is "standard procedure as a way to try to shield a client should their recollections be challenged." Trump has said he has "one of the great memories of all time," per Business Insider.
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Text messages and emails have suggested that Stone may have had prior knowledge of WikiLeaks' plan to release emails that Russians hacked from the Democratic National Committee, so of interest to Mueller is whether Trump was also aware; Stone says he never discussed Wikileaks with Trump, and that's also what Trump is claiming.
Meanwhile, another key question is whether Trump was aware ahead of time that his son, Donald Trump Jr., planned to meet with a Russian lawyer to obtain dirt about Clinton. The president claims he didn't know that this meeting was going to take place, and he has now officially made this claim in his statements to Mueller — statements which, despite his hedging, CNN notes, "could be subject to criminal charges if false."
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