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Trump lawyers challenge Mueller probe in letter

In a confidential letter to special counsel Robert Mueller in January, President Donald Trump's legal team acknowledged for the first time that Trump "dictated" the first misleading statement put out about his son's controversial 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 4:04 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 4:17 PM

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeatedly refused Monday to account for the discrepancy between contradictory statements she and President Donald Trump's lawyers made about the President's role in dictating the 2016 Trump Tower meeting response.

"You're referencing a letter that came directly from outside counsel and I would refer you to them," Sanders said Monday during the White House briefing. "I'm not going to get into a back and forth."

Trump's personal attorneys said in a January letter to special counsel Robert Mueller obtained by The New York Times last week that Trump "dictated a short but accurate response to The New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr."

Sanders, meanwhile, said last August that Trump "certainly didn't dictate" the initial misleading statement Trump Jr. released about his meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.

"He weighed in, offered suggestion like any father would do," Sanders said in August.

After the briefing, Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow said Monday he stands by the assertion in the legal team's letter to the special counsel claiming the President "dictated" the Trump Jr. statement.

"The statement in the January letter reflects our understanding of the events that occurred," Sekulow said in a statement to CNN.

Sanders was pressed by three different reporters Monday about the contradictory statements and each time she referred questions to the President's personal attorneys.

Asked how the public can trust her comments from the podium, Sanders demurred.

"Once again, I can't comment on a letter from the President's outside counsel," she said.

The issue was just one of several relating the special counsel's investigation and the handling of it by the President's personal attorneys.

Sanders also rejected questions about whether the President would rule out pardoning himself after the President's attorneys suggested in the same letter that Trump could terminate the special counsel's inquiry or "exercise his power to pardon."

Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said over the weekend that Trump could pardon himself, though he said he would almost certainly be impeached if he did.

"Thankfully, the President hasn't done anything wrong and wouldn't have any need for a pardon," Sanders said, not directly addressing the question.

She declined to say whether Trump agrees with Giuliani's comment that Trump would be immediately impeached if he pardoned himself.

Sanders also insisted that the President does not believe he is "above the law."

"Certainly not," she said when asked. "Certainly, nobody is above the law."

She added that Trump "has not done anything wrong."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 895229

Reported Deaths: 9462
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1749772017
Ramsey722701040
Dakota66032572
Anoka62513568
Washington39357355
Stearns32821275
St. Louis28761399
Wright25354211
Scott25329181
Olmsted21750127
Sherburne18478126
Carver1629166
Clay11923103
Blue Earth1126366
Rice11234138
Crow Wing11003122
Chisago974676
Kandiyohi9660106
Otter Tail9611126
Benton8815124
Beltrami801794
Goodhue786596
Douglas7689100
Itasca752796
Mower721349
Winona702756
McLeod694483
Isanti681383
Steele669431
Morrison663479
Becker620873
Polk591684
Freeborn550846
Carlton529474
Nobles521654
Lyon518761
Mille Lacs516573
Nicollet510960
Pine500641
Cass491252
Todd483642
Brown465057
Le Sueur445933
Meeker422357
Martin378143
Wabasha366010
Waseca365132
Dodge351511
Hubbard349848
Roseau307931
Fillmore299115
Wadena298239
Redwood277845
Houston266817
Renville264151
Faribault253032
Pennington247529
Sibley246917
Kanabec241536
Cottonwood225032
Chippewa216342
Aitkin215850
Pope203210
Watonwan194920
Yellow Medicine185423
Rock174728
Swift169322
Koochiching168123
Stevens164511
Jackson159216
Clearwater155720
Marshall151122
Murray150911
Pipestone148329
Lake129824
Lac qui Parle120025
Wilkin119416
Mahnomen104714
Norman10389
Grant9719
Big Stone9365
Lincoln8705
Kittson71523
Red Lake70710
Traverse5996
Unassigned572124
Lake of the Woods5235
Cook3020

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 520452

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Unassigned40470
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
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