Published: Wed, January 23, 2019
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

'So what' if Trump and Cohen discussed testimony - Giuliani

'So what' if Trump and Cohen discussed testimony - Giuliani

President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said Monday that the President had no recollection of whether discussions about a proposed Trump Tower Moscow project went through the 2016 election, distancing himself from a claim he made Sunday.

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani attempted to convince the American public that no evidence exists that would reveal his client directed Michael Cohen, his former attorney and personal "fixer", to lie to Congress in 2017 about a Trump Tower project in Moscow, as BuzzFeed News reported last week.

The Moscow deal ultimately did not materialize but Giuliani's remarks suggest that Trump's discussions about the project with Cohen may have dragged on months longer than had been publicly known.

Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.

"I shouldn't have said tapes", he said, adding: "No tapes".

But in an emailed statement on Monday Giuliani changed his story, saying: "My comments did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any such discussions".

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The fact that there were discussions for a Moscow project at any point during the campaign has undermined repeated denials from Trump that his company had any business dealings in Russian Federation or that he had anything to do with Russian Federation at all.

Giuliani denied that claim, and a spokesman for the special counsel investigating possible campaign collusion between Trump's team and Russian officials, Robert Mueller, called the report "inaccurate". "And the president had no conversations".

BuzzFeed confirmed the link to Fox on Tuesday, with a spokesperson saying, "NBCU is indeed an investor and a great strategic partner, but I'm afraid you'd have to ask them about how and when they disclose that information".

The Democrat also said he would "do everything necessary to make the [final Mueller] report public but more than that, because [the Trump administration] will fight us on this, we need to do our own investigations because at the end of the day if the Justice Department tries to stonewall the release of that report for whatever reason, the American people are going to need to know what happened, and we're going to have to press forth". Cohen had told Congress that the negotiations ended in January 2016, before the first presidential primaries, but later in a plea agreement, he said they continued as late as June 2016, after Trump was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. So anytime during that period they could've talked about it.

"BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's Congressional testimony are not accurate", a spokesperson for Mueller said. "And I think it's remarkable that we're two years after the fact and just discovering it today".

That statement, which suggested that the Trump Organization was engaged in business dealings with Russian Federation up to and beyond the election, ignited a firestorm and then an abrupt walk-back from Giuliani. "I'll be dead. I figure I can explain it to St. Peter".

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