Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice, something that many of his followers are trying to erase with bizarre claims like Newt Gingrich’s claim that he can’t actually obstruct justice as the president. But Trump’s lawyer is trying to go one better and say that Trump isn’t under investigation for obstruction of justice at all, even though Trump all but confirmed that very thing in a poorly-thought-out tweet:
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s legal team, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd to discuss that. Todd asked him more than once why Trump is afraid of this investigation, instead of embracing it as he should if he were truly innocent (because it would prove his innocence). Sekulow tried to emphasize that Trump is not under investigation at all while Todd grilled him again and again.
Sekulow’s final answer to that question contains a massive mistake, which is below:
He’s not afraid of the investigation. There is no investigation. I want to be clear here.”
And then a minute later:
There is not an investigation of the President of the United States. Period.”
See what he did there, in his first statement? Watch the full exchange below for context:
New on #MTP: Trump lawyer says President is not under investigation, despite tweets.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 18, 2017
Besides the obvious problem, which is Sekulow’s claim that Trump isn’t under investigation when he is, Sekulow’s wording shows that he knows Trump is under investigation. Otherwise, he’d have said, “Trump isn’t afraid of any investigation,” or something of that nature, even in response to Todd pushing him hard on that point. Why didn’t he?
Possibly because he knows he’s covering for Trump, rather than relaying something he believes to be true.
Sekulow also claimed that Trump’s tweet was a direct response to the Washington Post’s story that Mueller was officially looking into whether he obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey. In talking to Todd, he jumped on Trump’s “fake news” bandwagon and intimated that the Washington Post (and The New York Times, too) are just publishing whatever they feel like and making up their sources since the sources are “unnamed.” (Here’s a clue: The sources are only unnamed to us, the audience. The reporters that talk to these sources know exactly who they are and whether they’re to be trusted.)
But really, to say, “He’s not afraid of the investigation,” and then claim that there is no investigation when it’s clear that’s what Todd was talking about at first, is just plain stupid.
Featured image via video screen capture