In the least surprising bit of news you’ll hear all day, Donald Trump lied.
A Washington Post story that broke last night revealed that Trump himself helped draft the statement that his son was meeting with a Russian lawyer to speak about adoption practices when the campaign was still going on… when the truth was that they were meeting with her to receive potentially damning information about Hillary Clinton. Not only did the campaign lie about the purpose of that meeting, Trump told them to do it.
Whether there will be consequences for that remains to be seen.
But it’s important to remember that Jay Sekulow, Trump’s lawyer and a longtime opponent of church/state separation, claimed with confidence — many times — that Trump had nothing to do with the false statement about the purpose of that meeting.
On Meet the Press two weeks ago, Sekulow was very clear in denying Trump’s involvement in the lie:
I can’t say whether the president was told the statement was going to be coming from his son on that. I didn’t have that conversation and let me say this — but I do want to be clear — that the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr. So that’s what I can tell you because that’s what we know. And Donald Trump Jr. has said the same thing. That it was, in fact, from him and I believe it was his lawyer was in consultation — I’m sure his lawyer was in consultation.
He said the same thing earlier that week to Good Morning America:
The president didn’t sign off on anything. He was coming back from the G-20 [summit], the statement that was released on Saturday, was released by Donald Trump Jr. and, I’m sure, in consultation with his lawyers. The president wasn’t involved in that.
There are really a few possibilities here: Sekulow knew Trump was involved and lied to everyone, he didn’t know Trump was involved and spoke confidently despite his ignorance, or he trusted Trump’s lie and willingly defended him in front of the media thus revealing his own incompetence.
Pick your poison.
This is a man was already known by the secular media as someone who took money from poor people to fund his lifestyle. His family has become very wealthy — we’re talking tens of millions of dollars — through their groups Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case) and the American Center for Legal Justice (ACLJ).
But he’s also known to the Religious Right as someone who fights for family values. He’s supported crusades against LGBT rights and abortion access. And his work has always been guided by the principle that he’s working to spread “family values” throughout the world.
And now, he’s working for a thrice-married, constantly lying, biblically illiterate, sexual assaulter. If that wasn’t bad enough, we now have proof he’s a fraud on his own or at least willing to lie for a President who has no loyalty to him.
We’ve seen a lot of people who worked for Trump go down in flames over the past few months. They put their reputation on the line for him… only to end up hanging their heads in shame. It doesn’t really matter when that person is a political hack. But if Trump can help bring down one of the Religious Right’s star lawyers, what a glorious defeat that would be.
Sekulow deserves every bit of shame he has coming. You can bet, however, that he’ll try to spin the story first. I assume he’ll accuse the Washington Post reporters of making everything up. But this isn’t a case of unfair persecution. This is solid reporting that goes against the narrative Sekulow was trying to create. It exposes both men as liars.
Once again, a man who spent his career pretending to be doing God’s work turns out to be a sham who cares about nothing but his own paycheck.
At least when he’s done with Trump, he has a future in televangelism.