Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, trotted out another excuse for Don Jr.’s meeting with the Russians: it’s all the Secret Service’s fault.
The U.S. Secret Service on Sunday denied a suggestion from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer that it had vetted a meeting between the president’s son and Russian nationals during the 2016 campaign.
Donald Trump Jr. has acknowledged that he met in New York with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after he was told she might have damaging information about his father’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“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,” Jay Sekulow, a member of the president’s legal team, said on Sunday on the ABC news program “This Week.”
In an emailed response to questions about Sekulow’s comments, Secret Service spokesman Mason Brayman said the younger Trump was not under Secret Service protection at the time of the meeting, which included Trump’s son and two senior campaign officials.
“Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time,” the statement said.
And even if he was under their protection, their job is not to vet visitors for their motives. It’s just to make sure they don’t endanger the life of those under their protection.
The Secret Service has been under a lot of pressure the last few years, including some shake-ups and scandals, brought on in no small part by budget cuts and the stress of protecting the first black man elected president. Therefore I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a bunch of trained killers carrying weapons not happy with you. Just a thought.