Robert Mueller is reported to have set his sights on first daughter Ivanka Trump over a Trump Tower encounter she is said to have had with at least two people who attended the controversial Russia meeting with brother Don Jr. at the heart of her father’s 2016 campaign run.
The L.A. Times reported Ivanka Trump, now a White House adviser, exchanged greetings with a Russian attorney and a lobbyist as they stepped off the Trump Tower elevator for a meeting that was attended by Trump Jr, her husband Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The two Russian representatives Ivanka is said to have encountered are attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and lobbyist, Rinat Akhmetshin.
Several media outlets have reported Trump Jr. helped broker the meeting after being promised he would be presented with damaging information about his father’s then-Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
In recently published book Fire and Fiery, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is quoted as saying he believes there was “zero” chance that President Trump did not know about the meeting.
Throughout the book, writer Michael Wolff details a West Wing in constant chaos, where virtually everyone has come to the conclusion that Trump may not be up to the job of commander in chief. Wolff is said to have had unlimited access to the White House during the time he spent researching for the book.
Since details of the book have made been public, the Trump administration has moved to ban all phones and “personal devices” from the West Wing with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders citing “security” concerns as the primary reason.
“The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore starting next week the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing,” the White House said in a statement. “Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people.”
As for the book, everyone from Trump on down, have angrily denounced it as “trashy tabloid fiction.” Among some of its highlights are quotes from Bannon blasting everything from Trump Jr. Russian meetings as “treasonous” to branding Kushner’s business dealings as “greasy.”
Trump minced few words in ridiculing Bannon as having “lost his mind” since being shown the White House door back in August. The president also sought to downplay Bannon’s role in his orbit.
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party. Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.”