WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders refused to comment Monday on a leaked memo from Trump’s outside legal team that contradicted a statement she made to reporters last year denying that the president dictated a statement released by his son.
“This is from a letter from the outside counsel and I would direct you to them to answer that question,” Sanders said.
In the January memo, published by the New York Times on Saturday, Trump’s attorneys write that the president dictated a “short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.”
The statement followed revelations that Trump Jr. met with a Russian attorney during the 2016 campaign with the understanding that he would be given information damaging to then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
According to Trump Jr.’s initial statement, the meeting was focused on adoption and no reference to political information was included.
After the Washington Post reported that the president dictated the initial, misleading statement, Sanders told reporters that was just not the case.
“He certainly didn’t dictate, but he — like I said, he weighed in, offered suggestions like any father would do” Sanders said during a briefing last August.
Jay Sekulow, the lead attorney on Trump’s outside team, told CNN on Monday that the account laid out in the January memo matched their understanding of events.
JUST IN: After @PressSec refuses to address discrepancy, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow stands by assertion in letter to Mueller that Trump DID dictate statement. “The statement in the January letter reflects our understanding of the events that occurred.”
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) June 4, 2018
Sanders refused to tell reporters Monday what she based her initial statement on and wouldn’t address whether the discrepancy has lead to a credibility issue for the White House’s top spokesperson.