This post has been updated with more examples.
The White House directly contradicted President Trump's own attorney on Tuesday. It confirmed that the president was involved in that misleading Donald Trump Jr. statement about his meeting with a Russian lawyer after Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow, had issued two unmistakable comments asserting Trump wasn't.
But this was hardly the first time that the Trump team has appeared to confirm something it previously denied. Below are nine examples.
1. That Trump was involved in Donald Trump Jr.'s Russia statement
“I do want to be clear that the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement.” — Sekulow on NBC News on July 16
“The president didn't sign off on anything. … The president wasn't involved in that.” — Sekulow on ABC News on July 12
“The president weighed in as any father would, based on the limited information that he had.” — White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, after The Washington Post reported that Trump had changed the statement at the last minute to be more misleading.
2. That Trump is thinking about pardons
“Pardons are not being discussed and are not on the table.” — Sekulow on July 21
While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017
3. That Trump decided unilaterally to fire FBI Director James B. Comey
“No one from the White House. That was a DOJ decision.” — Sean Spicer on May 9
Asked whether Trump had already decided to fire Comey and asked Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and the Justice Department to craft a justification for it: “No.” — Huckabee Sanders on May 10
“He took the recommendation of his deputy attorney general, who oversees the FBI director. … He has lost confidence in the FBI director, and he took the recommendation of Rod J. Rosenstein.” — Kellyanne Conway on May 10
“I was going to fire Comey … Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.” — Trump on NBC News on May 11
“On May 8, I learned that President Trump intended to remove Director Comey and sought my advice and input.” — Rosenstein on May 19
4. That Comey was fired because of the Russia investigation
“That's not what — let me be clear with you — that was not what this is about. That's not what this is about.” — Vice President Pence on May 10
Rosenstein's memo contained no mention of the Russia investigation and instead focused on Comey's unusual announcements about the Hillary Clinton investigation during the 2016 campaign: “I cannot defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.” — Rosenstein on May 9
“Based on my evaluation, and for the reasons expressed by the Deputy Attorney General in the attached memorandum, I have concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI.” — Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a letter May 9
“And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” — Trump to NBC on May 11
5. That Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Russia's ambassador
“They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia. … What I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.” — Pence on Jan. 15
Asked whether Flynn discussed sanctions related to Russia's alleged 2016 election interference: “Right.” — Spicer on Feb. 14
“So just to be clear, the acting attorney general informed the White House counsel that they wanted to give, quote, 'a heads-up' to us on some comments that may have seemed in conflict with what he had said to the vice president in particular. … The issue, pure and simple, came down to a matter of trust, and the president concluded that he no longer had the trust of his national security adviser.” — Spicer on Feb. 14
“What I would tell you is that the vice president became aware of incomplete information that he'd received on February 9, last Thursday night, based on media accounts.” — Pence spokesman Marc Lotter
6. That Trump's navy secretary nominee was going to withdraw
After CBS's Major Garrett reported that Navy secretary nominee Philip Bilden was likely to withdraw, Spicer tweeted on Feb. 18:
Those people would be wrong. Just spoke with him and he is 100% commited to being the next SECNAV pending Senate confirm. https://t.co/AfRZfQQCzG
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) February 18, 2017
“Mr. Philip Bilden has informed me that he has come to the difficult decision to withdraw from consideration to be secretary of the Navy.” — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Feb. 26
7. That Trump shared classified information with Russian leaders in the Oval Office
“The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false.” — national security adviser H.R. McMaster on May 15
“It is wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information he thinks is necessary to advance the security of the American people. That’s what he did.” — McMaster on May 16
As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2017
8. That intelligence officials briefed Trump on an unconfirmed dossier that suggested Russia had compromising info on him
"And [the story] says that they never briefed him on it, that they appended two pages to the bottom of his intelligence report. ... [Trump] has said that he is not aware of that." - Kellyanne Conway on Seth Meyers's show on Jan. 10. (The report had said he was, in fact, briefed.)
"I think [Comey] shared it so that I would — because the other three people left, and he showed it to me. ... So anyway, in my opinion, he shared it so that I would think he had it out there." Asked whether it was used as leverage: "Yeah I think so." - Trump to the New York Times on July 19
9. That Trump had a tense conversation with Australia's prime minister
Thank you to Prime Minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE NEWS media lied about. Very nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2017
"Well the President takes these leaks very seriously. Cause if you think about it, they are happening in a secure setting between two world leaders, two heads of government.” - Spicer later on Feb. 3