The White House said Monday that the new lawyer hired to handle the Russia probe did not sign off on President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE's latest tweet about his son's meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer.
“I don’t believe so," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said when asked if special White House counsel Ty Cobb signed off on the tweet in which Trump defended the meeting his eldest son attended during the campaign.
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
Spicer also defended Donald Trump Jr.'s decision to take the meeting with the lawyer promising damaging information about Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump defends indicted GOP congressman GOP lawmaker says he expects to be indicted over FBI investigation Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on MORE, saying, “There was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe” it wasn’t about Russian adoptions.
That's contradicted by the email chain Trump Jr. released last week detailing the set-up of the meeting, which was arranged under the subject line, “Russia — Clinton — private and confidential.”
According to one message from Rob Goldstone, who acted as an intermediary to set up the meeting, the information “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father."
“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone wrote.
Trump Jr. seemed eager to receive in the information, saying in a June 3, 2016, response: “If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
But Trump Jr. has said the promised information from Natalia Veselnitskaya "went nowhere," and that she mostly focused on pushing for changes to a policy that led to restrictions on American adoptions of Russian children.
The meeting took place June 9, 2016, and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, were present for at least part of it.
The meeting and emails are likely to come under scrutiny from federal and congressional investigators probing Russia’s election meddling and whether any Trump associates colluded with the effort.
The White House continues to deny the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow.
Trump announced Saturday the appointment of Cobb, a veteran Washington lawyer with experience as a federal prosecutor and defense attorney, as special counsel at the White House.
Cobb is speculated to be taking over the White House's response to the investigation into possible contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump's comments Monday come as the White House is launching a three-week "Made in America" messaging campaign to refocus his public agenda.