Giuliani: Somebody 'Played Around' With Cohen Tape

Michael Cohen Trump's personal lawyer in the spotlight

CNN, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter, said on Thursday local time, that Cohen was willing to make that assertion to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign.

According to CNN on Thursday, Cohen says he and several others were present when Trump's eldest son told him about the meeting and that he gave Don Jr. the go-ahead.

"Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam", Trump speculated on Twitter, without supporting his claim.

Cohen, whose business dealings are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has longtime dealings in the taxi industry and owns several medallions for New York City yellow cabs that allow them to pick up passengers on the street.

As many were quick to note following the new reporting on Thursday, Cohen's reported claim is hardly the only evidence that Trump may have had knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. If it's true, though, it raises questions about what Donald Trump Jr. has said in past testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other things.

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Weisselberg and Amanda Miller, a Trump Organization spokesman, didn't respond to requests for comment.

But as the story came into closer focus, it became clear that the genesis of the meeting was a promise on behalf of the Russians, by a go-between named Rob Goldstone, that they had dirt on Hillary Clinton that they wanted to pass along to the Trump brain trust.

Trump Jr. testified a year ago to the Senate Judiciary Committee that his father had no knowledge of the meeting with the Russians.

"President Trump looks forward to having President Putin to Washington after the first of the year, and he is open to visiting Moscow upon receiving a formal invitation", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, referring to the beginning of 2019.

For his part, Cohen - the president's former fixer who, until recently, was one of his most loyal defenders - has gone on the offensive.

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The special prosecutor has already indicted more than 30 people, including 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted this month for allegedly hacking computer networks of the Democratic Party and publicly disseminating the stolen information.

Fox News, the president's de facto state-run news channel, used its lineup to try damaging Cohen's character by bringing up charges like that he's an unscrupulous lawyer and can't be trusted, even though the president said he only hires the best people.

Trump also on Friday dismissed as "ridiculous" a report that Muller's team is looking at Trump's tweets as they investigate possible collusion and obstruction of justice.

Giuliani and the president have spent the last few days attacking Cohen's credibility after CNN aired audio last week of a conversation Cohen secretly recorded with Trump.

The revelation that Cohen has secret recordings he made, some of which are of the president, has caused worry in Trump's inner circle, according to former insiders.

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McDougal had sold the rights to her story to the parent company of the National Enquirer for $150,000. Additionally, Mr. Cohen has made no public mention of Mr. Trump's knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting. "When you rely on a guy where before you're finished with him you're going to have such a string of lies, you just can't trust him".

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