Published: Tue, January 22, 2019
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Trump discussed Russian Federation tower deal well into 2016, Giuliani says

Trump discussed Russian Federation tower deal well into 2016, Giuliani says

Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold, both of BuzzFeed, wrote a report published late last Thursday, "President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project".

According to the New York Times, Rudy Giuliani clarified his statements about the Moscow tower project, saying his comments were "hypotehtical" and not "based on conversations" he had with President Donald Trump.

"Probably could be up to as far as October, November - our answers cover until the election", Giuliani said, referring to written questions Trump has answered from special counsel Robert Mueller, who for 20 months has been investigating Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation and whether Trump, as president, obstructed justice by trying to thwart the probe.

But in an emailed statement on Monday Giuliani changed his story, saying: "My comments did not represent the actual timing or circumstances of any such discussions". "The point is that the proposal was in the earliest stage and did not advance beyond a free non-binding letter of intent".

This is a notable reversal given that Giuliani had said he was directly quoting Trump when he told the Times the project discussions were "going on from the day I announced to the day I won".

BuzzFeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith responded to Carr's statement Friday by saying: "We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he's disputing".

Mr Giuliani also said Mr Trump's conversations with Cohen about a possible deal in Moscow may have continued up until the 2016 election.

"I don't know if it happened or didn't happen", Giuliani told Tapper, adding, "So what if he talked to him about it?"

He and other federal prosecutors have secured convictions or guilty pleas from several key figures in Trump's orbit, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, campaign aide Rick Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former foreign affairs adviser George Papadopoulos and Cohen. Cohen told lawmakers the effort to build a Trump skyscraper in Russian Federation ended in January 2016, when in reality the business talks continued deep into the campaign.

The real danger with a BuzzFeed News report claiming President Donald Trump instructed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie during his testimony to Congress was with what the rest of the media did in response to it, George Washington University legal expert Jonathan Turley said Monday.

Late a year ago, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress when he said that the project discussions had ended in January 2016. Can't be sure of the exact dates, but the president can remember having conversations with him about it.

"It's our understanding that they went on throughout 2016", he added. "So any time during that period, they could have talked about it", he said.

But later, Cohen admitted in court that he made the false statements about the project "to be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and to be loyal to Individual 1".

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