‘Doesn’t make sense’: incredulity as Trump’s lawyer seeks to take blame for Flynn tweet


Legal experts have voiced their surprise and concern after an attorney for Donald Trump sought to take the blame for a tweet sent from the president’s personal account that could signal he took part in the obstruction of justice.

The US president said in a tweet on Saturday that he fired Michael Flynn as national security adviser in February “because he lied to the vice-president and the FBI” about his discussions with Russia’s ambassador to the US last December. Flynn pleaded guilty in court on Friday to lying to FBI agents.

This would mean that Trump knew Flynn had committed a serious crime when, according to the former FBI director James Comey, the president asked Comey the next day to halt an FBI investigation into Flynn. On Sunday Trump, who later fired Comey, again denied making such a request.

Donald J. Trump

I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!

December 2, 2017

In an attempt to contain the fallout from the tweet, Trump’s attorney John Dowd took the blame, saying he had composed the post and that it was “sloppy”.

In an interview with Reuters on Sunday he elaborated, saying that he had drafted the tweet and made “a mistake” when he composed it.

“The mistake was I should have put the lying to the FBI in a separate line referencing his plea,” Dowd said. “Instead, I put it together and it made all you guys go crazy. A tweet is a shorthand.”

Dowd said the first time the president knew for a fact that Flynn lied to the FBI was when he was charged.

He said it was the first and last time he would craft a tweet for the president.
“I’ll take responsibility,” he said. “I’m sorry I misled people.”

Talking to NBC he said: “I’m out of the tweeting business. I did not mean to break news.”

However, the suggestion that he wrote the tweet was met with incredulity by Democrats and legal experts.

Alex Witt

“If John Dowd actually wrote that tweet he should be fired. That’s stunning legal malpractice.”

@RepTedLieu tells me, adding that even if it was Dowd, by it appearing on the president’s account, “you’ve just owned it. So it doesn’t even absolve Donald Trump.”

December 3, 2017

Many were simply not convinced.


We’re supposed to believe John Dowd wrote pled instead of pleaded? https://t.co/q2FmO8AsQ0

December 2, 2017

Brandi Jones

So we are to believe that John Dowd, a former DOJ attorney, just tanked his career by drafting a tweet that admitted the President obstructed justice. Or that he is so incompetent that he didn’t realize what he was saying. Either option doesn’t make sense.

December 3, 2017

Dowd joined Trump’s legal team in June 2017, as Mueller’s special counsel investigations began heating up.

The White House has yet to comment.



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