- It was Trump’s most direct attack yet on his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
- “I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?),” the president tweeted.
- Trump’s raging response came after reports saying that Cohen was prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew of his son’s 2016 meeting with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
President Donald Trump unleashed his most direct attack yet on his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, while emphatically denying he knew about his son Donald Jr.’s meeting with Russians in Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign.
“I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. 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 Friday morning, following reports the night before that said Cohen has asserted that the president knew about the meeting.
Trump has repeatedly denied that he colluded with Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Lanny Davis, the lawyer for Cohen referred to in Trump’s tweet, declined to comment on Trump’s latest tweets. Davis, a veteran crisis manager, was President Bill Clinton’s special counsel during his scandal-plagued years in the White House.
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and representatives for Hillary Clinton also did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.
Cohen, who is under federal investigation in New York, reportedly is also willing to talk to special counsel Robert Mueller about the matter.
Giuliani had already denied the reports Thursday night, telling NBC News that Cohen “can’t be believed unless it’s corroborated five times.”
He added: “I talked to the president about this at length before as well as other witnesses and it’s not true. Why would you expect it would be true from someone like Cohen? A lawyer who would tape their own client is a lawyer without any character.”
Trump’s mention of taxi cabs refers to Cohen’s reported financial troubles related to the declining value of taxicab medallions in New York.
Donald Trump Jr. has repeatedly denied that he told his father in advance about the Trump Tower meeting.
Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting so that he could explore a Russian offer of supposedly damaging information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. His brother-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort also attended that meeting in early June 2016.
In a first statement to The New York Times following initial reports that the campaign officials met with Russians in Trump Tower, Trump Jr. said “It was a short introductory meeting” in which “we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.”
It was later revealed that the Russians had offered to provide damaging information on Trump’s political opponent during that meeting — and that Trump Jr. had welcomed the possibility of receiving dirt from Russian sources.
A memo sent from Trump’s legal counsel to Mueller’s team revealed that the president himself had dictated that initial statement to the Times.
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