Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has claimed the president knew in advance of an infamous pre-election meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer
In a bombshell claim, Cohen said he was with the President when Donald Trump Jr told him Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton at a June 2016 meeting, CNN reports.
The network noted 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 Russia.
These claims contradict ongoing statements from the president, his son and their legal teams that Trump knew nothing about the June meeting.
Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has blasted Cohen in response, reiterating their ongoing line that the president knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting.
He called Cohen a “pathological liar”.
“He’s been lying all week. He’s been lying for years. I don’t see how he has any credibility.”
“Donald Trump Jr has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller and Congressional investigations,” said Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Donald Trump Jr. “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 June 2016 meeting was arranged through a publicist, who told Trump Jr in emails that a senior Russian official “offered to provide the Trump campaign” with damaging information about Clinton.
The publicist said the outreach was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.