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Donald Trump knew in advance about Russian Federation meeting, says Michael Cohen

29 July 2018

These claims contradict ongoing statements from the president, his son and their legal teams that Mr Trump knew nothing about the June meeting.

And on Friday, Trump wrote that Cohen is "trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?)", adding that he "even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary's lawyer", Lanny Davis.

U.S. President Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen has largely stayed out of the spotlight in the months since federal agents raided his office and hotel room and seized scores of records about his work for Mr. Trump. "Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!"

John Catsimatidis, the billionaire businessman and prolific donor who ran for NY mayor in 2013, said he remembers Cohen reaching out shortly after Catsimatidis announced his mayoral bid. Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort were also present at the meeting.

A source told the network Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, alleges that he witnessed Donald Trump Jr. telling his father about the meeting before it happened.

Michael Cohen and President Donald Trump

Cohen made his claims a day after releasing a covert recording of himself and Trump discussing a payment to be made to a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, who says she had an affair with Trump years ago.

Giuliani, who called Cohen "an honest, honorable lawyer" as recently as May, has criticized Cohen in recent days.

Raddatz asked Abrams and Chris Christie, a former USA prosecutor and New Jersey governor who is an ABC News contributor, for their thoughts on the Trump team's legal strategy in regard to Cohen.

The President has repeatedly attacked Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt" and denied all allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians.

Cohen told associates that Trump responded with encouragement, the person said.

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"I don't want the president to consider a pardon, but you don't get one by lying", he said. Mr. Cohen has also been badly hurt by Mr. Trump's public anger and is determined to hit back, according to two people familiar with this thinking.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment. They met with a lawyer linked to the Kremlin and a Russian businessman who initially had offered to disclose dirt on Clinton.

It's unclear if Cohen has any legally damning information to provide special counsel Robert Mueller about Trump.

The official story later changed.

The Trump Tower meeting was arranged by British music promoter, Rob Goldstone, who told Trump Jr that he had "information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russian Federation and would be very useful to your father". He wanted to speak with wealthy Moscow entrepreneur and entertainer, Emin Agalarov, the publicist's client, before finalizing details.

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"The highway is littered with Trump lieutenants who made the mistake of believing that", said a second source.

"Give it to me", Trump says.

Cohen did not specifically refer to the alleged exchange between Trump and his eldest son during his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee previous year, according to people familiar with his appearance. Second, Trump could have known about the meeting and Trump Jr. may not have been the source of that information.

Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr.at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

Trump also lashed out at Mueller in reaction to the news that Mueller has been reviewing Trump's Twitter feed as part of the investigation into obstruction of justice.

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"The only Collusion with Russian Federation was with the Democrats, so now they are looking at my Tweets (along with 53 million other people) - the rigged Witch Hunt continues!"

Donald Trump knew in advance about Russian Federation meeting, says Michael Cohen