Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd, John Dickerson and Chris Wallace gave it their best, but none could quite crack the composure – or the logic – of Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow today. Watching Tapper’s State of the Union, Todd’s Meet the Press, Dickerson’s Face the Nation and Wallace’s Fox News Sunday, it was difficult to decide which of the men had the toughest job.
Sekulow made the Sunday morning Beltway show rounds today to explain the president’s revelatory – or maybe not – June 16 “witch hunt” tweet, the one that began “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!” (Watch clips below).
Sekulow was tasked with explaining that Trump is not being investigated while somehow not contradicting his boss. His solution? Trump was merely responding to a “fake news” Washington Post story, and besides, tweets don’t allow for nuance.
“That response on social media was in response to the Washington Post piece,” Sekulow told CNN’s Tapper. “It’s that simple. The president is not under investigation.”
“Well, I wish it were that simple,” Tapper responded. “But with all due respect, the president said ‘I am being investigated’ in a tweet and people take his word on that. But you’re his attorney and you’re saying the president, when he said that, was not accurate.”
Sekulow then pulled out the no-nuance argument: “It was 141 characters, the limitation on Twitter as we all know.” Well, he’s close.
Over on NBC’s Meet the Press, Todd asked Sekulow why the president should be “afraid” of an investigation into Russian election-tampering if, in fact, the president is innocent of any collusion.
“He’s not afraid of the investigation,” Sekulow said. “There is no investigation. I want to be clear here. There is not an investigation of the president of the United States.”
“I will leave it there,” said Todd, ending the segment.
On CBS’s Face the Nation, Dickerson asked Sekulow how he could be sure the president is not not been under investigation, and after Sekulow cited James Comey’s testimony, Dickerson said, “Of course, there have been events since James Comey told them that.”
As for Wallace, his twisty and occasionally heated exchange with Sekulow – the only time the lawyer’s demeanor was ruffled – included Sekulow accusing the host of “putting words in his mouth”:
“Because there’s not an investigation,” Sekulow said. “And there’s — there’s no investigation against the president.”
“Well, you don’t know whether there’s an investigation,” Wallace said. “Oh, boy, this is weird. You — you don’t know that there’s — whether there’s an investigation. You just told us that.”