- Special counsel Robert Mueller and Donald Trump Jr. were photographed waiting for their flights at the same gate at Washington Reagan airport on Friday morning.
- Mueller is currently investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump campaign’s potential role in it.
- Multiple outlets reported on Thursday that Trump Jr. told his father beforehand about a meeting with a Russian lawyer and lobbyist at Trump tower, citing sources close to Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.
It’s not every day that special counsel Robert Mueller appears in a photograph with a member of the Trump family, but a snapshot captured by Politico’s Playbook shows Mueller and Donald Trump Jr. both waiting to board their flights from Washington DC’s Reagan National Airport’s gate 35X on Friday morning.
In the photo, which originally appeared in Politico’s Playbook PM newsletter, Mueller is on the far left sitting and reading a newspaper, while Donald Jr. is spotted in the background wearing a turquoise shirt and camouflage hat, flanked by two Secret Service agents.
The awkward run-in comes a day after several bombshell revelations were reported relating to Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump campaign’s potential role in it.
First, The New York Times reported that Mueller is looking into whether Trump’s negative tweets about several public officials involved in the Russia probe could constitute obstruction of justice and/or witness tampering.
And then on Thursday night, multiple news outlets including CNN and NBC reported that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen claims he overheard Trump Jr. telling his father, President Donald Trump, in advance about a July 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.
The meeting, which was between Trump Jr., other campaign affairs, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, came about after Veselnitskaya originally promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign. It is against federal law for political campaigns to accept such help from foreign governments.
Trump and his legal team have since claimed that Veselnitskaya did not present the incriminating information about Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, that she promised. They also say she had no ties to the Kremlin, and acted only in her capacity as a private citizen.
An Associated Press story also published on Thursday draws closer connections between Veselnitskaya and top Russian officials than previously reported, referring to Veselnitskaya as a “ghostwriter” for government lawyers.
But if Cohen’s claims hold up, it would contradict statements Trump Jr. made under oath in congressional hearings, when he claimed that his father knew nothing about the meeting beforehand, which Trump has also claimed.
Next Wednesday, Mueller’s team will begin prosecuting Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was also present at the Trump tower meeting, on federal tax and bank fraud charges in Virginia.
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