Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and one of President Donald Trump’s top lawyers, said on Sunday, contrary to claims made by others, Trump is not being investigated for obstructing justice by anyone, as far he knows, including Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor tasked with determining whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials to help win the 2016 election.
In an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Sekulow adamantly declared Trump is not under investigation.
“Let me be clear here,” Sekulow said. “The president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction.”
“[Trump is] not afraid of the investigation. There is no investigation,” Sekulow also said. “There is not an investigation of the president of the United States. Period.”
Sekulow’s comments are controversial because they seem to contradict a report by the Washington Post earlier this week and comments made by Trump himself in a social media message posted on Twitter on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported unnamed officials told the left-leaning newspaper Trump is being investigated by Mueller for potentially obstructing justice.
“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” Trump said in a tweet on Friday morning.
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
During Sekulow’s “Meet the Press” interview, Todd asked him about the reports and the president’s social media message that seemed to confirm the existence of the investigation.
“The president’s tweet was in response to the Washington Post story,” Sekulow said. “So, the Washington Post issued a story that had five anonymous sources, which they never identified what agencies those sources originated out of. The response from the president, using social media, was about that story.”
Sekulow’s response appears to be that Trump’s tweet wasn’t an acknowledgement of the existence of an investigation, but rather a response to the Washington Post’s report. In other words, it appears Trump, at least on Friday, made the assumption the Washington Post’s report is correct, but he didn’t really have all the information.
That makes Sekulow’s response all the more intriguing, because he firmly and repeatedly denied the existence of any such investigation, suggesting either Sekulow is making the denial without knowing for sure if Mueller is looking into the obstruction accusations or Sekulow now knows something Trump didn’t on Friday.