A new report that President Donald Trump personally dictated a misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.'s Russia meeting contradicts a flat-out statement by the president's lawyer that the president was 'not involved.'
The president's eldest son released the statement last month while being hit with inquiries from the New York Times about his June 2016 meeting that was later revealed to include a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer.
The president's advisors scrambled to produce a response amid the glare of ongoing Russia investigations. The Washington Post reported Monday that the president himself directed the statement, telling Don Jr. to put forward the claim that the subject of the June 2016 meeting was the ban on US adoptions in Russia.
Now one of the president's outside attorneys, Jay Sekulow, is coming under scrutiny for statements he made that contradict the latest account.
Sekulow told NBC's 'Meet the Press' on July 16: 'I do want to be clear ― the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement,' he said.
'It came from Donald Trump Jr. So that's what I can tell you because that's what we know. And Donald Trump Jr. has said the same thing. That it was, in fact, from him and I believe it was his lawyer was in consultation.'
US President Donald Trump attends a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 31, 2017
'It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.
'I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.'
As far as the president's role, Sekulow only allowed that 'I can't say whether the president was told the statement was going to be coming from his son on that.
Sekulow had previously told ABC News that 'the president didn't sign off on anything' and 'wasn't involved,' the Huffington Post reported.
According to the Post's report, Don Jr. and people he sought advice from wanted to come clean and admit that the premise of the meeting was for him to receive campaign dirt on his father's election