back to top

Trump's Staffers Are Contradicting Each Other On The Pardon Question

Incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci acknowledged that the president had discussed his ability to pardon — but the president's personal lawyer said the issue hadn't come up at all.

Posted on

Trump's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, was adamant on ABC's This Week that despite the fact that the president himself tweeted on Saturday that he has full power to issue pardons, the White House legal team has not even discussed the possibility.

“We have not, and continue to not have, conversations with the president of the United States regarding pardons," Sekulow told George Stephanopoulos. "Pardons have not been discussed. And pardons are not on the table."

Sekulow also said that his legal team is not even focused on researching the option because "there's nothing to pardon from."

On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Trump had asked his advisers about his abilities to pardon staff, family members, and himself in connection with the investigation into his campaign. On Saturday, Trump tweeted that while he had such powers, he hadn't committed any crimes.

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

And then on Friday, John Dowd, the lawyer now leading President Trump’s personal legal team, denied to BuzzFeed News that the outside legal team has been looking into the president’s pardon power.

But incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said on Sunday that he had discussed pardons with both Sekulow and Trump.

Scaramucci told CNN's Jake Tapper that he "talked to Jake Sekulow about that because he's a scholar."

Sekulow says he’s not researching if Trump can pardon himself. An hour earlier, Scaramucci said he’s discussed the… https://t.co/qNEXAQ1e3g

"But it doesn’t matter anyway because it is another one of those stupid hypotheticals," said Scaramucci. "He not going to have to pardon himself because he has done absolutely nothing wrong. So we don’t even have to worry about it. "

And on Fox News, Scaramucci said he'd discussed the issue with Trump as well. "I’m in the Oval Office with the president last week, we’re talking about that," Scaramucci told Chris Wallace.

"He brought that up, he said but he doesn’t have to be pardoned. There’s nobody around him that has to be pardoned. He was just making the statement about the power of pardons."


Claudia Rosenbaum is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Rosenbaum at claudia.rosenbaum@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.