A former Watergate special prosecutor has no patience for Donald Trump Jr.’s original statement about his meeting with a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin, saying it reminded her of a “fake sick note.”
In an interview on MSNBC, Jill Wine-Banks said it looked like Donald Trump was making excuses for his son. Trump Jr. originally said that he met with Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower last June to discuss Russian adoption. He later changed his story after an email thread emerged in which Trump Jr. was aware that Veselnitskaya was proffering damaging information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Last week it emerged that President Trump had dictated his son’s original misleading statement.
Wine-Banks said that in doing so, the president was “acting in totally reckless disregard of the truth or he deliberately lied by knowing the truth.”
“Either one is not a good option,” she added.
The former prosecutor said the events reminded her of her childhood, when she would unsuccessfully ask her mother to write her a note excusing her from school when she was only pretending to be sick. “I think this is the same thing,” she said. “The president is writing for his son, making an excuse that isn’t true and if my mother had been his mother, that wouldn’t have happened.”
Last month, Wine-Banks dismissed presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner’s explanations for his attendance at the Veselnitskaya meeting as “blatantly ridiculous” and called the meeting “an astounding thing” and “clear proof of collusion.”
Wine-Banks has frequently compared the progression of the Trump-Russia investigation to the Watergate scandal. She said she found the firing of FBI director James Comey to be “as bad as the Saturday Night Massacre,” in which Nixon fired his Attorney General for failing to dismiss the Watergate special prosecutor, which eventually led to his resignation under threat of impeachment for obstruction of justice.