If Donald Trump has seemed particularly energized in his recent condemnations of special counsel Robert Mueller, it’s likely because the president is worried about possible legal trouble for his eldest son, according to multiple reports.
The Washington Post and CNN both reported Saturday that Trump has privately expressed concern about Donald Trump Jr.’s possible exposure in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The president’s son set up the controversial Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-linked attorney in June 2016 in order to obtain damaging information about Hillary Clinton. He admitted as much to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but he also told investigators that his father knew nothing about the meeting ahead of time.
However, CNN reported last month that the president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was willing to tell Mueller that Trump did in fact know about the meeting in advance, raising the prospect that his son lied under oath.
Anxiety that the probe could ensnare members of the Trump family — and in particular son-in-law Jared Kushner — has consumed the president “for months,” according to CNN. Those concerns have now shifted to Trump Jr.
Trump has reportedly confided his “unease” over his son’s potential exposure to the probe, The Washington Post reported on Saturday. The president “does not believe his son purposefully broke the law, but is fearful nonetheless that Trump Jr. inadvertently may have wandered into legal jeopardy.”
Trump responded to Saturday’s reports by tweeting that the meeting was “totally legal.”
The president renewed his social media attacks on Mueller last week, including a tweet on Wednesday in which he stated that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop the Mueller investigation “right now.”