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Trump disputes Cohen claim he knew of Trump Tower meeting

President Donald Trump on Friday denied his former personal attorney Michael Cohen's claim that he knew in advance ab...

Posted: Jul 27, 2018 2:45 PM
Updated: Jul 27, 2018 2:45 PM

President Donald Trump on Friday denied his former personal attorney Michael Cohen's claim that he knew in advance about a highly controversial 2016 Trump Tower meeting, the latest public breach in the fraying relationship between the President and his former confidant.

"(No,) I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr." Trump wrote as part of a series of tweets Friday morning. "Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?)."

Sources told CNN that Cohen claims that then-candidate Trump had advance notice of the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower involving Donald Trump Jr. and is willing to assert that claim to special counsel Robert Mueller. The meeting was premised on the expectation that Russians would offer campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, and it's become a key focus of Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow. US intelligence agencies say Russia interfered to support Trump's candidacy.

According to sources, Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed by his son about the Russians' offer and Trump gave his approval to go ahead with the meeting. The sources said Cohen does not have evidence, such as audio recordings, to corroborate his claim, but he is willing to attest to his account.

The meeting at Trump Tower -- which was attended by Trump Jr., his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort -- was first publicly revealed in news reports in July 2017, and Trump, his lawyers and allies have since offered misleading explanations and changing narratives about it.

Cohen is under criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York because of his business dealings and efforts during the 2016 campaign to suppress negative stories about Trump. An FBI raid on Cohen's office in April sought information about taxi owners who had financial dealings with Cohen, CNN has reported.

Cohen has hired Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, to represent him.

"(Cohen) even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary's (Clinton) lawyer," Trump also wrote, referring to Davis. "Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!"

Trump did not respond to shouted questions about Cohen from reporters after speaking about the economy at the White House Friday morning.

In an interview on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" Thursday night, Trump's lawyer in the Russia investigation, Rudy Giuliani, called Cohen a "pathological liar."

"I don't see how he's got any credibility," the former New York City mayor said.

Trump slams Mueller probe

Trump also lashed out at Mueller in reaction to the news that Mueller has been reviewing Trump's Twitter feed as part of the investigation into obstruction of justice.

"Arrived back in Washington last night from a very emotional reopening of a major U.S. Steel plant in Granite City, Illinois, only to be greeted with the ridiculous news that the highly conflicted Robert Mueller and his gang of 13 Angry Democrats obviously cannot find Collusion..." Trump tweeted. "(The) only Collusion with Russia was with the Democrats, so now they are looking at my Tweets (along with 53 million other people) - the rigged Witch Hunt continues!"

The New York Times, citing three people briefed on the matter, reported Thursday that Mueller was looking at Trump's negative postings on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and fired FBI Director James Comey. There is no public evidence backing Trump's claim that Democrats colluded with the Russian government.

The President has repeatedly attacked Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt" and denied all allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians.

Trump-Cohen bond deteriorates further

Trump's attack on Cohen Friday morning is the latest breakdown in the once close relationship between the two men. Cohen served as a top Trump confidant for more than a decade but has recently signaled a willingness to cooperate with investigators amid his legal troubles and what he sees as abandonment by the President.

According to his friends, Cohen has been agonizing over hearing nothing from the President as he's being investigated and has been sending up flares this past month, signaling that his loyalty would be to his "family and country," not to Trump.

Earlier this week, CNN aired a secret recording Cohen made of a conversation he had with Trump in 2016 regarding the rights to a Playboy model's story about an alleged affair with Trump. Trump's legal team has waived attorney-client privilege on the recording, giving prosecutors the option to use it in their investigation into Cohen.

The President has denied the allegations of the affair.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1130719

Reported Deaths: 17736
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1468762242
Lake732391255
Allen68004883
Hamilton51739488
St. Joseph50459650
Elkhart40619547
Vanderburgh34963497
Tippecanoe31212276
Johnson27963467
Hendricks26585385
Porter25969387
Madison21318457
Clark20392279
Vigo19244309
LaPorte17405261
Delaware17004303
Howard16942315
Monroe16794220
Kosciusko14447167
Hancock13259186
Bartholomew13180191
Warrick12320190
Wayne12200269
Grant12181247
Floyd12096226
Morgan10552192
Boone9966124
Noble9429123
Marshall9295147
Henry9268169
Dearborn9053100
Dubois8877140
Shelby8402130
Cass8241128
Lawrence8134185
DeKalb7933109
Jackson779993
Huntington7761116
Montgomery7213123
Gibson7179118
Harrison7031100
Knox6958116
Steuben676589
Miami6675114
Whitley667260
Putnam651286
Clinton633179
Wabash6323111
Jasper622192
Jefferson5946105
Ripley565994
Adams547981
Daviess5124118
Scott498980
Wells4894106
White486069
Greene4749101
Clay468662
Decatur4659110
Fayette462597
Jennings457167
LaGrange432291
Posey412944
Randolph4010107
Washington393656
Fountain382264
Fulton368374
Spencer365147
Starke361474
Owen358577
Sullivan351155
Jay336450
Orange335272
Rush314833
Carroll301639
Franklin295244
Perry292853
Vermillion285958
Tipton253367
Parke251630
Pike251244
Blackford224944
Pulaski213759
Newton185052
Brown179750
Benton171717
Crawford170729
Martin152619
Switzerland149412
Warren137816
Union125116
Ohio92913
Unassigned0599

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1735925

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1807941843
Cuyahoga1705042655
Hamilton1146441544
Montgomery811601405
Summit728891210
Lucas637861027
Butler57319814
Stark544971183
Lorain42941645
Warren36238417
Mahoning36168788
Lake32818501
Clermont31601369
Trumbull27766620
Delaware27462185
Licking26929344
Medina26408353
Fairfield24875287
Greene24585373
Clark22391390
Portage21591283
Richland21339342
Wood20348248
Allen19172326
Miami17486352
Columbiana17078335
Muskingum16882207
Wayne15914307
Tuscarawas14631362
Marion13477196
Ashtabula12980237
Erie12832199
Scioto12586188
Pickaway12326155
Ross11824226
Hancock11659175
Geauga11090179
Lawrence10729172
Belmont10548234
Huron9891159
Jefferson9724228
Union966575
Sandusky9465166
Seneca9020161
Knox8893176
Washington8738159
Darke8446181
Athens842897
Ashland8130152
Auglaize8042120
Shelby7575135
Defiance7431117
Crawford7376150
Fulton7284113
Brown7225116
Logan7087111
Guernsey701786
Mercer6964100
Highland6822120
Clinton6554106
Williams655299
Madison653990
Preble6343140
Putnam6300122
Jackson586597
Champaign586187
Perry571279
Coshocton5700108
Ottawa5696102
Morrow524665
Fayette499072
Hardin4960100
Gallia475878
Van Wert470895
Pike468478
Adams4638110
Henry440380
Hocking414293
Holmes4044141
Wyandot379975
Carroll373678
Paulding327551
Meigs307961
Monroe237261
Noble221949
Morgan219439
Harrison216953
Vinton189738
Unassigned06
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Feels Like: 13°
Huntington
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Hi: 23° Lo: 16°
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Decatur
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Hi: 25° Lo: 17°
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Van Wert
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After a cold start to the week, warmer air begins to filter back into the region Wednesday.
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