Trump's personal interest in Moscow tower not mentioned in Cohen email, Russia says

Trump's personal interest in Moscow tower not mentioned in Cohen email, Russia says
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A spokesman for the Kremlin said Wednesday that an email it received from Michael Cohen in January 2016 did not mention President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE's personal interest in a potential deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

"That was never mentioned. On the contrary, the email was about how the project was not working out," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Reuters.

Cohen sent the email in January 2016. He has since pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timing of negotiations on the project, which he has acknowledged extended well into 2016.

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The Kremlin statement came hours before Cohen was set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, where the longtime Trump Organization employee is expected to describe the president as a "conman," a "racist" and a "cheat."

In one part of his prepared testimony, Cohen suggests that Trump expected him to lie about his business negotiations to set up a Trump Tower in Moscow, though did not explicitly instruct him to do so.

"Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That's not how he operates ... At the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people," Cohen will say, according to his prepared remarks.

"Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign. ... He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project."

Cohen, who worked for years as Trump's personal attorney and "fixer," was sentenced late last year to serve three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations, bank fraud, tax fraud and lying to Congress.

Trump, who is in Vietnam meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has denied wrongdoing and on Wednesday morning sought to distance himself from Cohen.