Fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine rise despite US push for diplomacy
Trump knocks ‘failing New York Times’ over ‘another phony story’
President Trump attacked The New York Times on Wednesday over a report that special counsel Robert Mueller's office is looking into a payment that a Ukrainian steel magnate made to Trump's charitable foundation in exchange for a video appearance.
The president in an early morning tweet said the newspaper wrote "another phony story," claiming that the agreement was struck with pundit Doug Schoen and not a Ukrainian businessman.
"The Failing New York Times wrote another phony story. It was political pundit Doug Schoen, not a Ukrainian businessman, who asked me to do a short speech by phone (Skype), hosted by Doug, in Ukraine. I was very positive about Ukraine-another negative to the Fake Russia C story!" Trump wrote.
The Times reported that payment for a 20-minute video appearance in September 2015 "was set up by Doug Schoen."
The $150,000 donation to the Trump Foundation was arranged by Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime lawyer, the Times reported. Cohen's office was raided Monday by FBI agents after a "referral" from Mueller's team.
Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was indicted last year on charges of tax fraud and money laundering related to his work in Ukraine, which prosecutors say Manafort and a business associated tried to hide from federal investigators.
The president responded on Monday to reports of the raid on Cohen's office by attacking Mueller's investigation into collusion with Russia, which he called a "witch hunt." He has also claimed Mueller's team is biased and has said multiple people suggested he move to have the Justice Department fire the special counsel.