Trump says Cohen asked him 'directly' for pardon

President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE on Friday claimed Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenI'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Wyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Hope Hicks defends accuracy of her congressional testimony MORE asked him “directly” for a pardon, an allegation that would contradict the former Trump lawyer and "fixer’s" congressional testimony last week.  

“He lied! Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again!” Trump tweeted.

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Cohen told the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week that he has “never asked for,” nor would he accept, a pardon for his financial and campaign finance crimes.

Cohen responded to Trump’s charge in a tweet published about half an hour after the president’s message, writing “just another set of lies by @POTUS @realdonaldtrump.”

The veracity of Cohen’s testimony about a possible pardon, however, suffered a blow this week when his lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Cohen’s previous legal team reached out to Trump’s attorneys about clemency following an April 2018 FBI raid on his office.

“Prior to Michael Cohen’s decision to leave the ‘Joint Defense Group’ and tell the truth on July 2, 2018, Michael was open to the ongoing ‘dangling’ of a possible pardon by Trump representatives privately and in the media,” Davis said in a statement on Thursday. “During that time period, he directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump.”

Davis said that after Cohen decided to cooperate with federal prosecutors in July, the former Trump confidant “authorized me as a new lawyer to say publicly Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from President Trump even if offered.”

“That continues to be the case. And his statement at the Oversight Hearing was true — and consistent with his post joint defense agreement commitment to tell the truth.”