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Trump Responds to New Michael Cohen Plea

'He's a weak person,' president says of his former personal attorney
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2018 10:55 AM CST
President Trump listens to a question before traveling to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – After Michael Cohen made a surprise appearance in court Thursday to cop a guilty plea, President Trump took some shots at his former personal attorney. "Michael Cohen is lying and he's trying to get a reduced sentence for things that have nothing to do with me," Trump told reporters Thursday. "He's a weak person." While in court, Cohen admitted that he lied to Congress about a plan to build a Trump-branded tower in Moscow. Cohen told a Senate panel last year that the plan was scrapped in January 2016, when, in fact, the proposal remained very much in play through the summer of that year. Not only did Cohen maintain contact with a Russian developer through the presidential campaign, he considered traveling to Russia himself and having Trump travel there after the Republican National Convention, reports the Washington Post. On Thursday, Trump said none of that matters.

"This was a project that we didn't do, I didn't do," said Trump. "There would be nothing wrong if I did do it." The president said it would have been foolish of him to overlook business opportunities just because he was a candidate for president. "There was a good chance that I wouldn't have won, in which case I would have gotten back into the business," Trump said, per Politico. "And why should I lose lots of opportunities?" The president said Cohen was "not a very smart person," adding that the aborted tower deal was "well known" to the public. (A potential trouble spot for Trump: A report says he was directly involved in hush-money payments to women, which could run afoul of election laws.)

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