When the Secret Service is fact-checking the President’s lawyers in real time, you know the train is coming off the tracks.
That’s exactly what happened today, when the Secret Service released a statement essentially countermanding the latest desperate talking point lie a Trump defense attorney employed in a live television interview – within hours of the moment he uttered it.
Jay Sekulow, the most telegenic member of the President’s every growing legal team, did the Sunday news show circuit this morning to do what he does best: defend the President by any means necessary.
On ABC’s ‘This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Sekulow was asked about the apparent nefarious nature of the summer 2016 meeting Donald Trump, Jr. hosted at Trump Tower with senior campaign aids and multiple Kremlin operatives. His answer seemed odd.
“Well, I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in,” he told stand-in host Jonathan Karl. “The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me.”
Sekulow isn’t the first person to try this line out. He’s just the most senior. True or not, you expect this kind of desperate talking point from a low-level Trump loyalist appearing on a cable news show panel with five other talking heads. But when it comes directly from the President’s lawyers, there better be some truth behind.
According to Secret Service, however, Jay Sekulow lied. From Reuters:
“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.”
This act of integrity by the Secret Service – in the face of a President who famously demands loyalty, no less – is admirable. It should reassure Americans that our institutions are still holding, despite Trump’s every attempt to undermine them.