Trump denies foreknowledge of meeting with Russians

Cohen: Trump approved 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians

CNN: Lawyer Says Trump Knew in Advance of Meeting with Russian

But according to CNN and NBC, Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who is under investigation and has fallen out with the president, claims he was present when Donald Jr. told his father about the Russians' offer to meet, and that Trump approved of it.

During the meeting, Trump Jr. and others spoke with the Russians.

President Donald Trump on Friday denied his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen's claim that he had prior knowledge of his son's June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer. But if Mueller could prove Trump was aware of it or cast doubt on denials by Trump and Trump Jr., it would be a dramatic addition to Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference in the 2016 presidential race and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.

Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for the president, said that the elder Trump didn't know about his son's meeting with the Russian lawyer at the time. "If they rely on him ... it would destroy whatever case they have".

Trump's participation in obstructing investigation of that conspiracy already seemed clear.

The assertion by Michael Cohen, reported by both CNN and NBC News, contradicts Trump's insistence that he was unaware of the meeting at Trump Tower in NY, the subject of huge controversy once it came to light a year later.

"I don't see how he's got any credibility", the former New York City mayor said. He is represented by attorney Lanny Davis, a onetime counsel to President Bill Clinton.

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Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.

Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., along with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and senior campaign aide Paul Manafort took part in the meeting with Nataliya Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer and acknowledged Kremlin informant.

To be clear, these sources said Cohen does not have evidence, such as audio recordings, to corroborate his claim, but he is willing to attest to his account.

Trump complained that he had returned from a trip Midwest Thursday "only to be greeted with the ridiculous news" that Mueller and his team "cannot find Collusion... so now they are looking at my Tweets (along with 53 million other people)". Donald Trump Jr.'s attorney Alan Futerfas issued a statement Thursday saying Trump Jr.

But in the taped conversation, which came two months before the election, Trump did not express any surprise about the deal.

Cohen lawyer Guy Petrillo did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

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