Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney says the US president knew in advance of a June 2016 meeting in which Russians were expected to share dirt on then-election rival Hillary Clinton, US media reported on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that he wants the public to hear more of Michael Cohen's recordings as he continued to claim that they vindicated Trump. "He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary's lawyer".
He was referring to revelations last week that Cohen secretly recorded a conversation with Trump about payments to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who claims to have had an affair with Trump years ago.
When asked if Trump would be willing to talk about the Russian meeting with special counsel Robert Mueller, Giuliani said, "I still have my doubts about the people around Mueller" and said the president's team remained undecided about whether to agree to a sit-down conversation with federal investigators about that topic and others.
On Thursday night, Trump's current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, called Cohen a "liar" in response to the report.
CNN reported that Cohen claims he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians' offer by Trump Jr.in 2016.
There has been some speculation that Cohen may be angling for a pardon from Trump, who has begun wielding - and discussing - the presidential power frequently of late.
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His legal team had blamed the affair on a simple different interpretation of which revenue he was obliged to declare in Spain. Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted a two-year suspended jail sentence over tax fraud.
Mr Putin and Mr Trump met in Helsinki last week at a summit, but Mr Trump faced a storm of criticism back home for his handling of the meeting.
On Sunday, Giuliani argued that the recordings about Mr. Trump "clearly corroborate" the president's position that he was not aware ahead of time about payments to McDougal or Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who received $150,000 from a company set up by Cohen in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair. A source familiar with Cohen's House testimony said he did not testify that Trump had advance knowledge.
As David Graham of The Atlantic notes, while the Trump Tower meeting between Don Jr. and a Russian lawyer, lobbyist, and businessman with ties to the government does not demonstrate collusion in itself, it shows a "willingness by top campaign officials to collude".
Weisselberg and Amanda Miller, a Trump Organization spokesman, didn't respond to requests for comment.
Giuliani also said negotiations have momentarily paused with Mueller over a potential voluntary interview with the president.
"We have a lot to learn and we need to keep doing our reporting and that includes this dynamic that is going on of the attempts by the president to undermine a free press, because he wants our credibility destroyed because we are reporting the truth", Bernstein added. Cohen has been hoping to use that information as a part of a deal from federal prosecutors who are investigating him.
In his Fox appearance on Sunday, Giuliani said Trump felt "disappointed" that his former ally had turned against him, acknowledging the split that now existed between Trump and Cohen while saying they did not feel "at war" with Cohen at this point.