Trump allies in a circular firing squad over Don Jr emailby Richard Bailey 17/07/2017 18:31:00 0 comments 1 Views
- White House's Russia soap opera is pitting allies of the president against each other - and creating divides in the president's family
- President Donald Trump and his eldest son have retained separate attorneys
- So has Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior White House advisor
- Trump's former campaign hands are meanwhile pointing the finger of blame at each other for the Russian collusion debacle
By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent For Dailymail.com
Published: 15:28 EDT, 17 July 2017 | Updated: 18:31 EDT, 17 July 2017
The latest episode in the White House's Russia soap opera is pitting allies of the president against each other and creating divides in the president's family as key figures in the collusion drama rush to protect their own interests.
President Donald Trump and his eldest son, now at the center of the allegations following the disclosure of his meeting with a Russian attorney, have retained separate attorneys. So has Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump's former campaign hands are meanwhile pointing the finger of blame at each other for the disclosure last week of the most damning evidence yet of attempted cooperation between the Republican's election apparatus and the Kremlin.
The latest episode in the White House's Russia soap opera is pitting allies of the president against each other and creating divides in the president's family as key figures in the collusion drama rush to protect their own interests. The president and his son have obtained separate lawyers
Trump's former campaign hands are meanwhile pointing the finger of blame at each other for the disclosure last week of the most damning evidence yet of attempted cooperation with the Russians. Roger Stone (right) posited that it was Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowksi brought up Stone's ties to Paul Manafort
Manafort supposedly told Stone that it wasn't him. The former Trump campaign manager declined to comment, through a spokesman
Donald Trump Jr last week confirmed that he set up a meeting for himself, Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that he believed would yield dirt on Hillary Clinton.
He was told in an email exchange that the person he was meeting with, who turned out to be Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, had sensitive information on Clinton that came from the inside the Kremlin.
After a drip, drip, drip of reports from the New York Times, Trump Jr released the email exchange in full. He also retained criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas, a litigator who's defended members of the mob.
President Trump is being represented by an entirely different set of lawyers. His team is led by Marc Kasowitz of Kasowitz, Benson Torres.
'I certainly don’t represent Donald Trump, Jr,' a litigator for the president, Jay Sekulow, said Sunday.
Now the Times obtained the emails implicating the president's son in Russian collusion remains a secret. Any number of people could have played Judas Iscariot in the incident.
At least eight people are known to have attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower. Aside from the Trump representatives and the lawyer, an interpreter, a Russian-American lobbyist, a publicist that the president and his son both knew from the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and a representative for Russian pop star Emin Algalarov and his father.
Roger Stone, a longtime friend of the president who briefly worked as an adviser on his campaign, suggested last week that Kushner was the culprit.
He told DailyMail.com on Monday he no longer believes that's the case.
'I actually think Jared Kushner like everyone else in this drama has been unfairly accused,' he said.
Stone accused former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski of obtaining the emails and sending them to the Times.
Lewandowski called Stone, whom he fired from the campaign, a 'serial liar' and unequivocally denied that he had anything to do with the affair that happened after he'd already been dismissed from the Trump operation or its disclosure.
WAS IT JARED? Roger Stone, a longtime friend of the president who briefly worked as an adviser on his campaign, suggested last week that Kushner was the culprit. He retracted his speculation on Monday
In a call with DailyMail.com he noted that Stone was a business partner of Manafort, who was eventually pushed out of the Trump campaign, too, after the Republican National Convention.
He has also worked with Michael Caputo, the Trump communications advisor who gave testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday behind closed doors, Lewandowksi noted. Caputo used to live and work in Russia.
Stone was set to testify, as well, but his appearance was postponed until after the August recess. He expects to appear before the panel in September.
The friend of Trump's won't comment on the current status of his relationship with the sitting president other than to say that he's a '100 percent solid Donald Trump supporter' and thinks the New York native is 'great.'
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow emphasized Sunday that he represents the president - but not Don Jr, the accused
Trump's White House has attempted to distance the president from the former Nixon aide who's also been accused of collusion over his contact with a Russian hacker who's been accused of wreaking havoc on the DNC's email system.
It has also put space between the president and Manafort, who was ousted from the operation amid charges that he took illegal cash payments for consulting work from the Ukrainian government.
Stone says Manafort told him that he was not behind the leak of Trump Jr's emails with a Russian pop star's publicist, Rob Goldstone, who set up the fateful meeting at Trump Tower.
The Times had previously reported that Manafort disclosed the meeting to Capitol Hill investigators before it revealed the contact between Goldstone and Trump Jr.
Having been off Trump's team for nearly a year, it's not clear that Manafort even has his emails from the campaign in his possession to pass on if he wanted to.
Manafort's name has come up repeatedly in conversations, though, as someone with an ax to grind, given his unceremonious exit from Trump's campaign.
Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, told DailyMail.com this afternoon, 'We're not going to say anything for the record.'