Donald Trump denied a reported assertion by his former personal attorney Michael Cohen that the president knew in advance of a 2016 meeting between his son Donald Jr. and other campaign officials with Russians in which they expected to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
The Trumps, their lawyers and other White House officials have consistently refuted accusations that the president knew anything about it until he was approached by The New York Times in July 2017.
Cohen has no audio recordings or other evidence to corroborate his claim of Trump’s advance knowledge of the meeting, CNN also reported.
President Trump, for his part, flat-out contradicted the Cohen claim on Twitter by Friday morning and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has called Michael Cohen “a source that is not credible”.
“He’s been lying all week, he’s been lying for years”, Giuliani said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time”.
An ally of Cohen’s said last month that Cohen is “willing to give” information on Trump and his business to investigators with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE’s office.
“I didn’t think that listening to someone with information relevant to the fitness and character of a presidential candidate would be an issue, no”, Trump Jr.
The criticism of a man who was once Trump’s fierce defender reflects the tensions wrought by the federal investigations in NY and Washington.
Trump also found a way to bring his favorite bogeyman, Hillary Clinton, into this story, suggesting that she and Bill Clinton set Cohen up with his new lawyer, Lanny Davis, who worked for Bill Clinton when he was president.
The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was held between Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, then-Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, Natalia Veselnitskaya (a Russian lawyer and self-described informant), and Russian operatives.
But perhaps the highest-stakes denial was given by Trump Jr.in his testimony past year to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Such knowledge and approval of this meeting would be quite troublesome for the President’s defense and narrative that there was “no collusion’. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources”, CNN reported.
The younger Trump added the next day that “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russian Federation were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton”.
Mueller is known to be scrutinizing Trump’s tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former F.B.I. director James Comey.
Trump Jr. famously replied: “I$3 f it’s what you say I love it”.
Those close to Cohen describe the lawyer, who has been holed up in a Manhattan hotel after a pipe burst in his apartment, as bewildered at the fast-moving events around him as he tries to look out for his family and make decisions about their future. “So the idea that you’re meeting with a foreign adversary… and you were even comfortable with that, I know it’s not illegal, but it’s obviously unethical”.