Though it’s impossible to separate President Donald Trump from his position in office, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has defended his recent actions, saying he was acting in a very different capacity: a father.
In a Washington Post report published Monday night, evidence emerged that Trump was responsible for the misleading statement his eldest son released about his meeting with a Russian attorney during the 2016 campaign. According to the Post report, Trump dictated the statement Trump Jr. later released while aboard Air Force One, traveling home from the G20 summit.
Despite the fact that Trump Jr.’s initial statement has now been labeled misleading—having claimed his meeting involved an adoption process, not dirt on political rival Hillary Clinton—Sanders has excused Trump’s action. She said in her daily press briefing: “The President weighed in as any father would, based on the limited information that he had.”
Sanders further claimed that she was not part of crafting the adoption statement, saying, “I was on the plane, but I wasn’t part of the conversation.”
Clarifying the president’s involvement, Sanders said, “He certainly didn’t dictate, but you know, he—like I said, he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do.” Previously, Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow vehemently denied the president’s involvement in the statement. In an appearance on Meet the Press July 16, Sekulow claimed “the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement.”
This isn’t the first time Trump’s role as father has seemingly overshadowed his position as president. Seeking leniency for his son after Trump Jr. released his emails about the meeting, the elder Trump characterized his 39-year-old son as “a good boy… a good kid.”