Cohen says Trump knew about 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer

Cohen says Trump knew about 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer

Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney, said Donald Trump knew in advance about a meeting during the 2016 campaign in which Russians were expected to offer negative information about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, according to a report by CNN.

The network noted Mr 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 Russian Federation.

Trump on Friday vehemently repeated his denial that he knew about the meeting, which is at the center of Mueller's probe, tweeting "NO", he "did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr".

At first, Trump Jr. said he never told his father of the meeting then later told Senate investigators that he couldn't recall who he spoke with that night.

CNN reported that Mr Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, claims the then-Republican candidate knew in advance about the meeting.

If the Federal Bureau of Investigation could substantiate that Trump Jr. called Trump senior at the time he was organizing the Trump Tower meeting and other witnesses - Cohen or others - were prepared to talk about what they saw, it could strengthen Mueller's case.

Music producer Rob Goldstone arranged the meeting, and told Trump an email that a "Russian government lawyer" was offering information that "would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father".

Democrats said the Cohen news, if true, means the Judiciary Committee needs to call Trump Jr. back for more questions. Sen.

But after the release of the Trump-Cohen recording, Trump criticized his former attorney, saying on Wednesday, "What kind of a lawyer would tape a client?"

That tape is also the only one Cohen has with Trump himself on it. Giuliani said there are about 11 or 12 other Cohen tapes in which others discuss the president and members of his family.

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"Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?)", Trump tweeted, referring to reports that the FBI is examining Cohen's businesses in New York's taxi industry as part of a separate investigation into the lawyer. Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, declined to comment to ABC News, other than to say an earlier report on the assertion by Cohen wasn't from him.

By Cohen's account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, CNN reported citing sources.

Mr Cohen is under federal investigation in NY.

Trump has repeatedly denied having any knowledge about the meeting and told The New York Times in July 2017 that he "didn't know anything" about it.

Mr Trump said they would soon be on their way home.

President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Monday that he's not sure collusion with Russian Federation would be considered a crime, marking a sharp advancement of the President's longtime defense that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

The publicist said the outreach was "part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr Trump".

It's unclear if Cohen has any legally damning information to provide special counsel Robert Mueller about Trump. They also note that two days before the meeting, Trump mysteriously announced plans to give a "major speech" about Clinton's scandals.

What is clear, based on the evidence that has emerged since, is the outreach to Trump Jr.

"Robert Mueller and his gang of 13 Angry Democrats obviously can not find Collusion", Trump said during a new set of tweets, so "now they are looking at my Tweets (along with 53 million other people)".

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