Administration

Obama ethics czar pushes back on Trump: Meetings to get dirt on political opponent do not ‘happen all the time’

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Former Obama White House ethics czar Norm Eisen on Sunday pushed back on President Trump’s assertion that political campaigns accept meetings to get dirt on opponents “all the time.”

“Sir, I was a lawyer for the Obama campaign, transition and White House,” Eisen wrote in response to Trump’s early Sunday tweet. “This does not happen all the time. In fact, it never happened on our watch and if it had our reaction would have been ‘call the FBI,’ not ‘if it’s what you say it is, I love it.’ “

Trump earlier in the day tweeted that the Trump Tower meeting between his son Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was “totally legal and done all the time in politics.”{mosads} 

“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower,” Trump said, referencing reports from CNN and The Washington Post that indicated he is concerned his son will face legal consequences in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

“This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere,” Trump tweeted. “I did not know about it!”   

The statement contradicted earlier assertions by Trump administration officials that the meeting was about adoptions.

Trump Jr. last year released emails that confirmed he agreed to meet with Veselnitskaya after being promised she had “very high level and sensitive information” about the president’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Veselnitskaya was described as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

“If it’s what you say it is, I love it,” Trump Jr. wrote.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen last week indicated Trump knew about the 2016 meeting before it happened. 

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Hillary Clinton Robert Mueller
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