President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is denying a claim by the New York Times that he is playing the role of a middleman in a plot to develop a U.S.-Russia treaty and also destabilize the government of Ukraine.
The Times reported Sunday that various Trump advisers have hatched a plan that would allow Trump to lift sanctions against Russia and address concerns over Russia’s seizure of Crimea. The report, which largely relied on unnamed sources, further sought to link Trump administration activities to those of a Ukrainian lawmaker looking to conduct a smear campaign against Ukrainian president, Petro O. Poroshenko, who is staunchly opposed to Russian intervention in Ukraine.
The Times pointed to Cohen as the courier who delivered the plan to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn just before Flynn resigned and lumped Cohen in the pile of Trump advisers being investigated by the FBI due to their connections with Russia.
The Times also revived discussion of a since-discredited dossier on Trump that alleged Trump resorted to inappropriate behavior while in Russia. Cohen was also mentioned in the dossier.
Cohen was asked for his side of the story by LawNews, and sent an emailed reply.
“100 percent untrue. I have not been contacted by anyone from the FBI or any government organization. It would take any half decent, unbiased journalist 10 minutes to verify the inaccuracies in the dossier,” Cohen said.
“I acknowledge that the brief meeting took place (about Russia and Ukraine referenced in the NY Times article), but emphatically deny discussing this topic or delivering any documents to the White House and/or General Flynn,” Cohen said in his email.
“Despite the multitude of statements issued denying any nexus between Presidents Trump and Putin, the main stream media just keeps on trying to perpetuate this lie,” he said.
Trump last week lashed out at the media for its continued production of stories about alleged Russian connections.
” … you can talk all you want about Russia, which was all a, you know, fake news, fabricated deal, to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats and the press plays right into it. In fact, I saw a couple of the people that were supposedly involved with all of this — that they know nothing about it; they weren’t in Russia; they never made a phone call to Russia; they never received a phone call,” Trump said.
“I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia,” Trump said.
“Russia is fake news. Russia — this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people, probably from the Obama administration because they’re there, because we have our new people going in place, right now.”
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