Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Trump denies knowing about Trump Tower meeting in advance

Cohen is thought to be cooperating with the Russia investigation after becoming embroiled in inquiries over hush money Cohen is thought to be cooperating with the Russia investigation after becoming embroiled in inquiries over hush money Credit JONATHAN ERNST REUTERS
Gerardo Duncan | 31 July, 2018, 07:58

Morning Joe covered news that Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, is claiming the president knew about the Trump Tower meeting during the campaign in 2016, despite Trump's repeated denials.

The network noted Mr Cohen doesn't have evidence to back this up, but he's willing to discuss it with special counsel Robert Mueller, who has launched an investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

"If you're asking me who do I believe, the president or Michael Cohen, with what Michael Cohen may say - for instance when Michael Cohen says, now, that the president knew about the Russian Federation meeting in advance - I would believe Don Jr. and the president, in light of learning that Michael was taping conversations, the way Michael was conducting himself behind the scenes and in front of all of us", Nunberg said.

"Donald Trump Jr. has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller and Congressional investigations", said Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Donald Trump Jr.

CNN first reported that Cohen has said that Trump knew in advance about the meeting and approved it going forward.

A former Trump Organization employee told CNN that Weisselberg being subpoenaed as part of the Cohen probe is the "ultimate nightmare scenario for Trump" because Weisselberg knows "anything and everything" about the finances of the Trump Organization.

But after the release of the Trump-Cohen recording, Trump criticized his former attorney, saying on Wednesday, "What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?"

In a remarkable interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Giuliani made the case that Cohen has no credibility and would be a death sentence if named a witness in any case Mueller may bring.

"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. Mr. Cohen has also been badly hurt by Mr. Trump's public anger and is determined to hit back, according to two people familiar with this thinking. Asked about the reversal on "Fox News Sunday", Giuliani said if he had known about Cohen's recordings, he would have called him a "scoundrel" instead of praising him.

The President was alluding to Cohen, who faces a federal criminal investigation over his personal business dealings involving the taxi industry in New York, Efe reported.

The president has denied he knew about the meeting, in which damaging information on Hillary Clinton was promised to Trump Jr. The Russian government said through intermediaries to Trump Jr. that it was supporting Trump and wanted to help the campaign.

Moreover, should Cohen choose to cooperate with investigators, including Mueller, it's not clear what information he has that they could not gather for themselves or have not already learned on their own.

Trump Jr. testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the meeting, which was also attended by then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

"My observation is that it was an evolution that caused him to decide once Donald Trump was president that he had to tell truth and change his life", Davis told the AP. "There was no such meeting [where Trump was told about the Russian offer]".

Rudy Giuliani called Michael Cohen a "pathological liar" in a heated CNN interview on Thursday.

Why would it matter if Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting? . As we now know, Trump Jr. later acknowledged that it clearly wasn't just about adoption.

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