The latest attempt to blame Obama for Trump’s Russia problem is for Team Trump to claim the Secret Service approved the June 9, 2016 meeting with Don Trump, Jr. Present at that event were Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and representatives of the Russian government who offered incriminating information about Hillary Clinton to help Trump win the election.
Aside from the very valid observation that it’s not the job of the Secret Service to green-light who the campaign can meet with, is this pesky detail:
The Secret Secret wasn’t guarding Don Trump, Jr. at the time of the meeting.
This USA Today article from Sept. 19, 2016 reports that Ivanka Trump was then getting Secret Service protection, and that she was the first of the grown Trump offspring to do so.
Ivanka Trump has begun to receive secret service protection as of Monday morning.
The Secret Service confirmed that Trump’s eldest daughter — who is also one of his most trusted advisers — will be receiving the protection.
Trump and his wife Melania already receive protection. And the Secret Service did not give any details on whether or not Trump’s other children would be receiving protection.
UPDATE: The USSS confirms they were not protecting DJTJr at the time.
Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, appeared on ABC’s This Week and while attempting to cram worms in one can, opened a whole new one. See if you notice the live bait wriggling out of this statement.
KARL: But do you accept what we heard from the president’s pick to run the FBI, that what should’ve happened there, you know, a situation where you have representatives of a foreign government offering assistance to — in an election, that what should’ve happened is that the FBI should’ve been notified?
SEKULOW: Well, I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in. The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me.
As Sekulow said, Trump Sr. did have Secret Service protection at the time of the meeting. So if the agents indeed cleared the Russian representatives, does that mean Trump himself was also in attendance?