Trump denies knowing about son's meeting with Russians, despite Cohen's claim

Cohen Says Trump Knew About Trump Tower Meeting With Russians In Advance, CNN Reports
Ex-Trump lawyer weighs his options

31 July, 2018

During his televised appearances Sunday, Giuliani continued to rail against Trump's former personal attorney, telling CBS, "I don't see how you can believe Michael Cohen", and accusing Cohen of violating Trump's attorney-client privilege.

Last week, the network published a recording from September 2016 of a conversation between Mr Cohen and Mr Trump discussing how they would buy the rights to Playboy model Karen McDougal's story about an alleged affair with Trump. The episode has come under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Cohen has no audio recordings or other evidence to corroborate his claim of Trump's advance knowledge of the meeting, CNN also reported.

"He's been lying all week".

"If lying to the media was a crime, he would go to jail for a thousand years", Giuliani quipped.

Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney, said Donald Trump knew in advance about a meeting during the 2016 campaign in which Russians were expected to offer negative information about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, according to a report by CNN. "We are very confident of the accuracy and reliability of the information that has been provided by Mr. Trump, Jr., and on his behalf".

The meeting at Trump Tower in New York City involved Trump's son, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and influential Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

"The president was very disappointed in Michael Cohen as he's tweeted particularly because he was a friend but also because he was a lawyer and acting as a lawyer during that conversation", Giuliaini said.

Cohen's belief was perhaps fueled by his standing as a jack-of-all-trades, a self-described "fixer" for Trump who managed everything from real estate branding deals and hush money payments to assembling a diversity coalition during the 2016 campaign.

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Rudy Giuliani, one of the president's personal attorneys in the Russian Federation investigation, jumped on that when he began responding to the CNN report: Not only does Cohen not have anything to back up his story, and not only is he in a serious jam with federal investigators in New York City, but he also doesn't tell the truth about anything - he's the "liar in chief", as Giuliani told NPR.

"Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?)", Trump tweeted, referring to reports that the FBI is examining Cohen's businesses in New York's taxi industry as part of a separate investigation into the lawyer. The Times also reported in June that Trump personally dictated a misleading statement about the objective of the meeting, even after his aides repeatedly denied that he did so.

Trump has consistently denied that he knew about the meeting, and he did so again on Friday.

The criticism Giuliani is now leveling at Cohen follows a series of reports that have led the President to lash out at his former lawyer.

That would create another headache for Trump's defense team.

According to people who have discussed the matter with Cohen, he has expressed hope that this claim about the Trump Tower meeting will help him reach out to Mueller and possibly lessen his legal troubles.

Trump Jr. did, however, make phone calls to someone with a blocked number at the time he was setting up the meeting.

He characterized Trump hiring and trusting Cohen as a "mistake", adding "anyone can Brutus Ceaser".

The rupture with his former boss was a startling shift for Cohen, who enjoyed almost daily access to Trump and his entourage for more than a decade during which he served as Trump's fixer, political adviser and fiercest public defender.

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