National Security

Giuliani says Trump’s account of Moscow Trump Tower deal aligns with Cohen’s

Attorneys for President Trump said Thursday that the president’s responses to special counsel Robert Mueller about a failed real estate negotiation in Moscow matched those of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about the project earlier in the day.

Rudy Giuliani, who represents Trump in the Mueller investigation, told The New York Times that Trump detailed his conversations with Cohen about a proposed Moscow Trump Tower in written answers to the special counsel.

“The president said there was a proposal, it was discussed with Cohen, there was a non-binding letter of intent and it didn’t go beyond that,” Giuliani told the news outlet.

{mosads}The former New York City mayor said Mueller did not ask the president about the timing of his talks with Cohen concerning the real estate deal. Giuliani did not provide the Times with the precise wording of Mueller’s questions, nor of Trump’s responses.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment on Giuliani’s assertions.

Cohen, who served as Trump’s personal attorney for years, agreed Thursday morning to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to Congress related to his testimony about communications with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.

The longtime Trump Organization employee said he was untruthful about his involvement in plans to build a Trump property in Russia in order to remain loyal to the president and consistent with his “political message.”

Cohen previously told Congress that negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow ended in January 2016, but emails showed that he continued to talk with a Russian developer about the project into the summer of 2016 and kept Trump informed of the talks amid the presidential campaign.

Trump slammed Cohen as he departed the White House for the weekend’s G-20 Summit in Argentina, calling his former associate a “weak person” and accusing him of “lying” in order to get a lesser sentence.

Despite his assertion to The New York Times that Cohen’s answers matched Trump’s, Giuliani tore into Cohen over the plea agreement, labeling him “a proven liar who is doing everything he can to get out of a long-term prison sentence.”

Giuliani’s comments on the real estate deal followed reports that Trump told Mueller in his written responses that he was not informed of a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between members of his campaign and a Russian lawyer, nor was he told about WikiLeaks during the campaign. Both are consistent with his public statements, but carry a criminal penalty if false.

The president’s legal team submitted written answers to Mueller last week. In the time since, Trump has continued to rail against the special counsel’s investigation, decrying it as a “witch hunt” and a waste of money.

Tags Donald Trump Robert Mueller

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