President Donald Trump this morning continues to push his “nothing to see here” narrative about Donald Trump Jr.’s participation in a Trump Tower meeting put together by the Russian government.
Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2017
The tweet made for an awkward moment for Rep. Francis Rooney, who was being interviewed by CNN’s Poppy Harlow when the tweet went out and was asked if he agreed with POTUS. After several unsuccessful stabs at changing the subject (“Answer the question and we can end this interview,” Harlow shot back), Rooney split the baby, declaring Trump’s remark to be accurate while hastening to add he himself never would have taken such a meeting because “appearances are very important.”
A new ABC/Washington Post poll out over the weekend reports 63% of people think the meeting was inappropriate.
One day earlier, Trump legal adviser Jay Sekulow blanketed the Sunday Beltway shows and blamed the Secret Service for the meeting with Kremlin-tied Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump Jr. attended the meeting, as did then-campaign chair Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, because Don Jr. had been told Veselnitskaya had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
“Well, I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in. The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me,” Sekulow told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.
“Buzz off,” U.S. Secret Service fired back Sunday night – or words to that effect:
“Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time,” Secret Service spokesman Mason Brayman said in a statement to Reuters.