Hanoi | President Donald Trump sought again to discredit Michael Cohen on Thursday after his former long-time lawyer’s bombshell congressional testimony in which he called Trump a racist and a conman.
“He lied a lot,” Trump told a press conference in Vietnam after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump insisted Cohen’s testimony Wednesday had provided no evidence the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia in the 2016 US election and that this is what mattered most in the keenly awaited session before a House committee.
Cohen, who also worked as Trump’s fixer, told lawmakers he had no direct knowledge of collusion but that he had suspicions.
Trump however insisted his former lawyer said no collusion had taken place.
“And I was a little impressed by that. He could have gone all-out. He went 95% instead of 100%. The fact is, there is no collusion,” said Trump.
“He didn’t lie about one thing. He said, no collusion with the Russian hoax. And I said, I wonder why he didn’t lie about that, too, like everything else,” said Trump.
The president did not address any of Cohen’s specific, damning allegations about his decade of working with Trump.
Cohen said for instance that Trump directed him last year to lie about hush payments made to a porn actress to silence her claims of an affair with Trump.
He also said Trump knew in advance in mid-2016 that WikiLeaks would publish emails stolen from rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign by the Russians.
And Cohen asserted that personal lawyers for Trump and his family reviewed and edited his written testimony to Congress in 2017 in which he lied about a Moscow real estate deal that was negotiated through the presidential election.
The president complained that the Cohen testimony took place during the summit with Kim.
“I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing,” Trump said.
Trump again insisted the probe into Russian collusion is a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”
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