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Trump defends ‘very legal’ Trump Tower Moscow talks after Cohen plea

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Donald Trump Arms crossed
US
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with members of
the Senate Finance Committee and his economic team October 18,
2017 at the White House in Washington, DC


Chris
Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images



  • President Donald Trump said his exploration during the
    2016 campaign of building a Trump Tower in Moscow was “very
    legal.”
  • His statement came one day after his longtime lawyer
    and fixer Michael Cohen admitted lying about the
    project.
  • Cohen’s guilty plea confirmed that Trump was not
    being truthful when he denied having financial interests in
    Russia during the 2016 campaign.
  • Cohen is expected to give dozens of hours of testimony,
    which could severely damage Trump.

President Donald Trump defended having “very legal” conversations
about building a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016
presidential election, one day after his longtime fixer Michael
Cohen
admitted lying about the project
.

Trump, who is in Argentina to attend the G20 summit, tweeted
on
Friday morning:

“Oh, I get it! I am a very good developer, happily living my
life, when I see our Country going in the wrong direction (to put
it mildly). Against all odds, I decide to run for President &
continue to run my business-very legal & very cool, talked
about it on the campaign trail…

“…Lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia. Put
up zero money, zero guarantees and didn’t do the project. Witch
Hunt!”

Cohen, who served as Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, on
Thursday
pleaded guilty
to making false statements to Congress about
the Trump Organization’s plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
The company ultimately did not go ahead with the project.

Prosecutors said Cohen knowingly misled congressional
investigators when he said negotiations for the deal ended in
January 2016 and that he did not discuss it extensively with
Trump Organization executives.


Read more:

Michael Cohen’s latest plea deal shows Mueller’s ‘starting to
finally get to the truth’ behind Trump and Russia



Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen.
AP Photo/Mary
Altaffer


Cohen’s guilty plea was a confirmation that Trump was not
being truthful when he denied having any financial interests in
Russia during the campaign,
according to reporting by Business Insider’s Sonam
Sheth
.

It also adds context to other meetings and financial
dealings between Trump campaign associates and Russian nationals
during the 2016 election.

Cohen is
expected to give dozens of hours of testimony
that could
severely damage Trump. The president called his former lawyer a
liar and a “weak person” after the announcement of the plea deal:


Read more:

Trump’s team can’t seem to get its story straight on whether
Michael Cohen is a liar

Two law-enforcement officials also said that Cohen discussed the
idea with a spokesman for Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary,

BuzzFeed News reported
.

The Trump Organization also reportedly wanted to give Russian
President Vladimir Putin the penthouse in the building.

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