President Donald Trump accused his former attorney Michael Cohen of lying to special counsel Robert Mueller for a reduced sentence in a blistering statement Thursday morning while departing for the G20 summit in Argentina.
“He’s lying very simply to get a reduced sentence,” Trump declared, explaining his view that “he was convicted with a fairly long-term sentence on things totally unrelated to the trump organization. Having to do with mortgages and having to do with cheating the IRS.”
The president continued, “He was given a fairly long jail sentence, and he’s a weak person, and by being weak — unlike other people that you watch — he’s a weak person, and what he’s trying to to is get a reduced sentence. So he’s lying about a project that everybody knew about.” (RELATED: Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Charge In Mueller Probe)
Trump’s reaction comes as Cohen pleads guilty in court to lying to Congress about a Trump Tower Moscow project the Trump Organization was involved in 2015 and 2016.
Rudy Giuliani released a statement Thursday that reads: “BREAKING NEWS ALERT: Michael Cohen is a liar.”
NEW / statement from Rudy Giuliani related to Cohen plea deal. It begins: “BREAKING NEWS ALERT: Michael Cohen is a liar.” pic.twitter.com/djlu0Wh06E
— Hallie Jackson (@HallieJackson) November 29, 2018
Cohen is revising his testimony to say that the Moscow deal was pursued into the summer of 2016. Trump brushed off this claim noting that even if the deal was pursued to this point it was not illegal to run his business while he was running for president.
Michael Cohen plea documents (via CNN)
1. Moscow Project deal lasted until into Summer 2016
2. Cohen discussed deal more than three times with candidate Trump
3. Cohen briefed Trump family members
4. Cohen took steps in contemplation of Trump’s travel to Russia
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) November 29, 2018
Cohen previously claimed in a letter to Congress in August 2017 that he had ceased work on the Trump tower Moscow deal in January 2016 and noted that he had never visited or discussed the deal with the Kremlin.
“COHEN discussed the status and progress of the Moscow Project with Individual 1 on more than the three occasions COHEN claimed to the Committee, and he briefed family members of Individual 1 within the Company about the project,” prosecutors said. Individual 1 is generally understood to be Trump.