(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The White House is frantic about Donald Trump Jr.'s emails

The Russia scandal is never going to go away — and the president is livid over that


Matthew Rozsa
July 12, 2017 11:39AM (UTC)

President Donald Trump is reportedly furious that the Russia scandal isn't going away.

This is already evident in Trump's Wednesday morning tweets, which insist that the reporting into alleged collusion between his presidential campaign and the Russian government is a "witch hunt" — even though, as Donald Trump Jr.'s emails clearly demonstrate, there is a solid foundation for those accusations.

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Inside the White House, The New York Times has reported, Trump and his advisers attempted to hammer out a statement for Donald Trump Jr. to give to The New York Times in order to dispel the tempest swirling around his June 2016 meeting with a lawyer associated with the Russian government. Because that statement was ultimately regarded as incomplete, and kept being undermined by subsequent reporting, it only worsened the White House's predicament, with Trump Jr.'s numerous clarifications ultimately giving way to him leaking an email chain (before the Times could publish it) that was incredibly damning.

People close to Trump have told The Washington Post that the president is furious that he can't get the Russian cloud to dissipate and is particularly upset that his son is now ensnared in the scandal. Many in his family — including daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and First Lady Melania Trump — are insisting that he shake up his White House team in order to more effectively address the situation, specifically by firing Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

The Times also reported that Marc E. Kasowitz, who is currently representing Trump as his lawyer, is frustrated with Trump's inability to extricate himself from the scandal and deeply suspicious of Kushner, who is reportedly giving the president advice that undercuts their legal strategy, while leaving his legal team out of the loop. Trump has, in return, become frustrated with Kasowitz, who he believes is failing to come up with an effective strategy for making the Russia scandal go away.

Donald Trump Jr. has also reportedly become defiant over the reporting about his interactions with Russia. He has hired a criminal defense attorney and appeared on Sean Hannity's Fox News program in order to defend himself, with one friend telling the Post that Trump Jr. likened his efforts to clear his name on Hannity with Richard Nixon's 1952 "Checkers" speech.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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