President Donald Trump's decision to personally dictate a response for his son, Donald Trump Jr., concerning his meeting with a Russian attorney during the 2016 presidential election led one spokesman - believing he had witnessed obstruction of justice - to quit his job.
A discussion aboard Air Force One last year about the response to reports of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting prompted a spokesman for President Donald Trump's legal team to quit, excerpts from an upcoming book on the Trump administration say.
The excerpts, published this week by several news organizations, from the journalist Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" say that the spokesman, Mark Corallo, told Wolff in private that he feared that the Air Force One meeting represented obstruction of justice.
Following his initial statement that the Trump Tower meeting was about adoption, Trump Jr. released emails showing that he was expecting to receive dirt on his father's opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Reporting by the Washington Post at the time indicated that the president's actions caused concern within his circle of advisers.
Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared an article, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”
The claims were later shown to be misleading.
The extent of the president’s personal intervention in his son’s response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy.