President Donald Trump on Friday denied knowing about a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton that was attended by his then-campaign chief and his oldest son.
Trump lashed out at his former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, a day after his camp leaked allegations that the president knew Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-linked attorney who let Trump’s son know she would arrive with anti-Clinton information that would help his father’s campaign. Donald Trump Jr. claims she did not mention such information, and the family has denied the father knew about the meeting before it happened.
But CNN reported Thursday evening that Trump not only knew the meeting was scheduled but approved it. The network also reported Cohen is willing to tell that to special counsel Robert S. Mueller.
The president weighed in Friday morning, denying he knew about the meeting, which he has said he learned about a year later in July 2017. Mueller is also reportedly interested in the president’s involvement last year in crafting a misleading statement about that meeting.
“I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr.,” Trump tweeted, and then lobbed an accusation at Cohen without naming him. The president suggested Cohen might have pulled some unspecified shenanigans with New York City taxi medallions.
“Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?),” he wrote in his clearest break yet with his former fixer as their high-stakes feud has reached new heights since Cohen retained the services of Lanny Davis, an attorney who has helped the Clintons over the years.
Trump noted the Davis hire, tweeting that Bill and Hillary Clinton might even be behind it.
“Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!” he wrote.
.....I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
Meantime, Trump also criticized Mueller after a report surfaced Thursday that the special counsel’s team is studying his tweets as part of their look at whether he obstructed justice.
He said the analyzing of his social media posts is further evidence the investigation is a “rigged Witch Hunt” that is “stupid and unfair to our Country.”
....,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! How stupid and unfair to our Country....And so the Fake News doesn’t waste my time with dumb questions, NO,....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani called Cohen “not credible.” Davis declined to comment to CNN.