Spokeswoman: Trump 'joking' when he told police to be 'rough' on suspects

Spokeswoman: Trump 'joking' when he told police to be 'rough' on suspects

The White House confirmed Tuesday that President Trump "weighed in" to help craft his son's response to reports of a meeting a year ago with a Russian lawyer - a move that could fuel an expansion of investigations into Trump campaign figures' dealings with Moscow.

US President Donald Trump was joking at an event last week when he told police officers to be "rough" with suspects, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Trump Jr. eventually released emails showing he attended the meeting with the understanding that he would be given damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump himself dictated his son's statement to the Times acknowledging a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign, which misleadingly claimed the meeting focused on adoption policy. The president dictated a statement saying the meeting had "primarily discussed a programme about the adoption of Russian children". The information "would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russian Federation and would be very useful to your father", read one of the emails.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks out a window of the Oval Office following an interview with Reuters at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2017.

"I can't believe any worthwhile prosecutor can ignore this", Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said.

It remains unclear exactly how much the president knew at the time of the flight about Trump Jr.'s meeting.

"He refuses to sit still", the adviser said.

The New York Times was the first to report the meeting.

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Alan Futerfas, Donald Trump Jr's attorney, had "no comment" when reached Monday night by ABC News.

SEKULOW: Yeah, I know. Does he feel he was misled by his son and by Jared Kushner if, indeed, they didn't tell him about these emails that they both received?

Today's cabinet meeting will be the first time President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have seen each other face-to-face since the president public criticized sessions for stepping down from overseeing the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

So he didn't have anything to do with the statement that Don Jr. put out that was being worked on with his team? In addition, Trump has repeatedly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing the FBI's Russian investigation - a decision that was one factor leading to the appointment of Mueller.

New York Police Department's Commissioner James O'Neill said Mr Trump's comments were inappropriate.

"Apart from being of no outcome, the characterisations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent", he said.

While it is not illegal for a president to mislead the public or the press, legal experts say the episode will most likely be of interest to Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the FBI's investigation into Russia's election interference and whether the Trump campaign has sought to cover up any interactions it had with Russians past year.

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