Under Mueller’s Questioning, Trump’s ‘Great Memory’ Failed 30 Times

The president’s self-proclaimed “great memory” failed him when he responded in writing to questions from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller in November 2018.

A month later, Mueller told Trump’s lawyers about “the insufficiency of those responses. ….We noted, among other things, that the President stated on more than 30 occasions that he “does not ‘ recall’ or ‘remember’ or have an ‘ independent recollection”‘ of information called for by the questions.”

In fairness, Trump’s memory didn’t always fail him. In response to one question, he remembered clearly that his meetings with Michael Cohen weren’t memorable. Another time, he remembered the exact five month time period in which he had no recollection.

Here are all the subjects that the president could not recall.

(All quotes verbatim from Vol. 2 of the Mueller Report)

Trump Tower Meeting

Trump at Bush funeral
President Trump at funeral of George H.W. Bush (Credit; The Hill)
  • I have no recollection of learning at the time that Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner was considering participating in a meeting in June 2016 concerning potentially negative information about Hillary Clinton. Nor do I recall learning during the campaign that the June 9, 20 16 meeting had taken place, that the referenced emails existed. or that Donald J. Trump, Jr., had other communications with Emin Agalarov or Robert Goldstone between June 3, 2016 and June 9, 20 16.
  • I have no independent recollection of what portion of these four days in June of 2016 I spent in Trump Tower.
  • The June 9, 20 16 calendar indicates I was scheduled to attend midday meetings and a fundraising luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel. At this point, I do not remember on what dates these events occurred, but I do not currently have a reason to doubt that they took place as scheduled on my calendar.
  • At this point in time, I do not remember whether I spoke or met with Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner on June 9, 2016. My desk calendar indicates I was scheduled to meet with Paul Manafort on the morning of June 9, but I do not recall if that meeting took place.

[Trump memory seems to have declined since July 2017 when he recalled the substance of the meeting in a tweet.]

Communications With an Oligarch

Trump Twitter
  • I have no independent recollection of any communications I had with the Agalarov family [hosts of the 2012 Miss Universe contest owned by Trump] or anyone I understood to be a representative of the Agalarov family after June 3, 2016 and before the end of the campaign.
  • I do not recall being aware during the campaign of communications between Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, or Jared Kushner and any member or representative of the Agalarov family.

Putin’s Support

Putin's Ball
Putin’s gift.
  • I have no recollection of being told during the campaign that Vladimir Putin or the Russian government “supported” my candidacy.
  • I have no recollection of being told during the campaign that any foreign government or foreign leader had provided, wished to provide, or offered to provide tangible support to my campaign.

DNC Hack

  • I do not remember the date on which it was publicly reported that the DNC had been hacked, but my best recollection is that I learned of the hacking at or shortly after the time it became the subject of media reporting.
  • I do not recall being provided any information during the campaign about the hacking of any of the named entities or individuals before it became the subject of media reporting.
  • At the time, I was generally aware of these media reports [about hacking of the DNC] and may have discussed these issues with my campaign staff or others, but at this point in time – more than two years later – I have no recollection of any particular conversation, when it occurred, or who the participants were.

Wikileaks

Julian Assange
Julian Assange
  • I do not recall being aware during the campaign of any communications between the individuals named [Roger Stone and Julian Assange] and anyone I understood to be a representative of WikiLeaks.
  • I do not recall having any discussion about the substance of the statement [calling on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails] in advance of the press conference.

(Trumped praised Wikileaks 50-plus times during the 2016 campaign, according to the Daily Beast.)

Russian Hacking

  • l do not recall being told during the campaign of any efforts byRussia to infiltrate or hack the computer systems or email accounts of Hillary Clinton or her campaign prior to them becoming the subject of media reporting and I have no recollection of any particular conversation in that regard.

Podesta Emails

  • I have no recollection of being told [on October 7, 2016] that WikiLeaks possessed or might possess emails related to John Podesta before the release of Mr. Podesta’s emails was reported by the media. Likewise, I have no recollection of being told that Roger Stone. anyone acting as an intermediary for Roger Stone, or anyone associated with my campaign had communicated with WikiLeaks on October 7, 2016.

(Stone says he spoke with Trump about Wikileaks. )

Conversations With Roger Stone

Roger Stone
Roger Stone, leaks from Wikileak
  • I do not recall being told during the campaign that Roger Stone or anyone associated with my campaign had discussions with any of the entities named in the question [DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0]
  • l have no recollection of the specifics of any conversations I had with Mr. Stone between June I, 2016 and November 8, 2016.
  • I do not recall discussing WikiLeaks with him, nor do I recall being aware of Mr. Stone having discussed WikiLeaks with individuals associated with my campaign.
  • I do not recall having had any discussion during the campaign regarding a pardon or action to benefit Julian Assange.

Internet Research Association

  • I do not recall being aware during the campaign of specific efforts by foreign individuals or companies to assist my campaign through the use of social media postings or the organization of rallies.

Trump Tower Moscow Project

Michael Cohen Testifies before the Congressional Oversight Committee (Credit: Rolling Stone)
  • I had few conversations with Mr. Cohen on this subject. As I recall, they were brief, and they were not memorable. I was not enthused about the proposal, and I do not recall any discussion of travel to Russia in connection with it. I do not remember discussing it with anyone else at the Trump
  • Organization, although it is possible. I do not recall being aware at the time of any communications between Mr. Cohen or Felix Sater and any Russian government official regarding the Letter of Intent.
  • I vaguely remember press inquiries and media reporting during the campaign about whether the Trump Organization had business dealings in Russia. I may have spoken with campaign staff or Trump Organization employees regarding responses to requests for information, but I have no current recollection of any particular conversation.

[Cohen testified that after candidate Trump publicly claimed that he had nothing to do with Russia in early 2016, he privately checked with Cohen about the status of the Trump Tower Moscow project.]

Manafort’s Business

The forgotten Paul Manafort.
  • …at some time before Mr. Manafort left the campaign, I learned that he was somehow involved with individuals concerning Ukraine, but I do not remember the specifics of what I knew at the time.
  • l had no knowledge of Mr. Manafort offering briefings on the progress of my campaign to an individual named Oleg Deripaska, nor do I remember being aware of Mr. Manafort or anyone else associated with my campaign sending or directing others to send internal Trump Campaign information to anyone l knew to be in Ukraine or Russia at the time or to anyone I understood to be a Ukrainian or Russian government employee or official. I do not remember Mr. Manafort communicating to me any particular positions Ukraine or Russia would want the United States to support.

Meetings With Russians

  • I do not recall being told during the campaign of efforts by Russian officials to meet with me or with senior members of my campaign.

Ukraine in Republican Platform

  • I have no recollection of the details of what, when, or from what source I first learned about the change to the platform amendment regarding arming Ukraine, but I generally recall learning of the issue as part of media reporting. I do not recall being involved in changing the language to the amendment.

World Chess Championship

  • I do not remember having been asked to attend the World Chess Championship gala, and I did not attend the event. During the course of preparing to respond to these questions, l have become aware of documents indicating that in March of 2016, the president of the World Chess Federation invited the Trump Organization to host, at Trump Tower, the 2016 World Chess Championship Match.

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