Donald Trump surprised many of his Twitter followers last Friday when the president came out and admitted that he’s under a federal investigation in the fallout of Russian meddling in the presidential election and whether Trump’s campaign played a role in it.
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
On Monday, though, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway advised the public to not pay attention to the words in the tweet, because even though Trump appeared to fully admit that’s he’s being investigated, Conway said, well, he’s not.
That follows the line of thinking by Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, who said on a number of Sunday news shows that Trump wasn’t under investigation. That led to mass confusion for interviewers like Fox’s Chris Wallace and CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Conway on Monday told Fox & Friends that nobody has told Trump that he’s under investigation, and instead, Trump’s tweet last week was a response to “a Washington Post report that included five anonymous sources. And that’s the president, in his 140 characters, through his significant social media platform … telling everybody, ‘Wow, look at the irony here.’”
The Washington Post report to which Conway referred was the story that Robert Mueller had widened his probe to include interviewing intelligence officials about whether Trump tried to obstruct justice.
Sekulow made many of the same arguments on the Sunday news shows, though he told Fox News Sunday that he couldn’t read Mueller’s mind and that he couldn’t say with 100 percent certainty that Trump wasn’t being investigated. Basically, it seems like the entire reasoning behind saying Trump isn’t under investigation is that Trump hasn’t been told by anybody that he is.
Some of Sekulow’s exchanges with Wallace were tense and confusing, leading Wallace to say, “Oh boy, this is weird.” Sekulow had told Wallace twice in the interview that Trump was under investigation and then said he wasn’t. Sekulow said he was actually discussing the “legal theory of how the Constitution works” and that Wallace had rephrased his talking points.
“I didn’t rephrase it,” Wallace said. “The tape will speak for itself; you said he is being investigated.”
Also on Sunday, Sekulow appeared on CNN’s Face The Nation and apparently confused host Jake Tapper so much that BuzzFeed wrote a story based on nine screenshots of Tapper looking perplexed during the interview.
Jake: So Trump said "I'm under investigation" even though he isn't?— David Mack (@davidmackau) June 18, 2017
Trump lawyer: The president isn't under investigation. It's that simple pic.twitter.com/BakMGggjFq
Earler this month, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump’s tweets were official statements and that “the President is the most effective messenger on his agenda.”
In this case, though, Conway and Sekulow are basically saying to ignore the president’s tweet.