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Trump derides lawyer Michael Cohen as 'weak person' after bombshell guilty plea

Last Updated Nov 29, 2018 at 11:40 am PDT

Michael Cohen walks out of federal court, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Summary

President Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress

Michael Cohen has admitted to making false statements in 2017 to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump is deriding Michael Cohen as a “weak person” after his former lawyer’s bombshell admission that he lied to Congress last year about an abandoned plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Trump, moments before departing Washington for G20 meetings in Argentina, insisted there was nothing wrong with discussions about the Moscow project, which ultimately never went ahead, because they took place before he became president.

Cohen, who initially told Congress the discussions ended in January 2016, admitted today during a surprise court appearance in New York that those talks continued until June of that year.

He also admitted lying about his contacts with Russian officials, and about discussing whether he or Trump should travel to Russia in connection with the project.

Trump says Cohen, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to unrelated charges including bank fraud and tax evasion, is lying in an effort to secure a reduced sentence.

Cohen told the judge he lied about the timing of the negotiations and other details to be loyal to and consistent with the “political message” of the president, referred to throughout the proceedings as “Individual One.”