Giuliani indicated talks for Trump Tower Moscow may have taken place up to Election Day 2016
- Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that President Donald Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, may have pursued discussions about a possible Trump Tower Moscow development up to November 2016.
- Giuliani, referring to Trump's written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller regarding the deal, contradicted a recent statement Cohen gave investigators that talks for the project went as late as June 2016.
- Trump previously denied pursuing any business ties to Russia while he was a candidate, before recently claiming the talks were "very legal!"
Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, may have pursued discussions about a possible Trump Tower Moscow development up to November 2016, the same month as the US presidential election.
"According to the answer that he gave, it would have covered all the way up to November of 2016," Giuliani said on ABC's "This Week," Giuliani said, referring to Trump's written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller regarding the deal and contradicting a statement Cohen gave investigators that talks for the project went as late as June 2016.Cohen pleaded guilty last month to lying to Congress about his involvement in a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, a plan he previously said was abandoned in January 2016 but actually continued well into the presidential campaign, according to his confession.
One of the bombshells from Cohen's recent testimony was the admission that discussions about Trump Tower Moscow went on for at least six months longer than Cohen previously stated to Congress.
"Until you actually sit down and answer the questions and you go back and you look at the papers … you're not going to know what happened," Giuliani said. "That's why lawyers prepare for those answers.
Giuliani previously defended Trump against concerns that Cohen's testimony contradicted Trump's previous answers on the project's timing.
"The president said there was a proposal, it was discussed with Cohen, there was a nonbinding letter of intent and it didn't go beyond that," Giuliani told The New York Times last month.
Cohen's guilty plea indicated that Trump was not being truthful when he denied having any financial interests in Russia during the campaign, according to reporting from Business Insider's Sonam Sheth. Additional concerns were raised when it was reported the Trump Organization wanted to give Russian President Vladimir Putin the penthouse in the building.Cohen also said in his confession that he spoke with Trump and his family members about the deal multiple times, according to court documents.
Trump defended the conversations as "very legal" conversations about building a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign
As part of the discussions on the Trump Tower deal, Cohen was in contact with the press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the documents say. Previously, Cohen claimed that he reached out to Putin's press secretary but didn't receive a response.
Cohen also discussed the possibility of then-candidate Trump traveling to Russia with a top campaign aide, the documents say.
The confession marked the first time Trump's business dealings with Russia were discussed openly in court in relation to Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
Trump has previously denied any business ties in Russia.
In court on Thursday, Cohen said he lied to Congress to "be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual 1," whom he identified as Trump.
.@GStephanopoulos: "Did Donald Trump know that Michael Cohen was pursuing the Trump Tower in Moscow into the summer of 2016?"- ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 16, 2018
Rudy Giuliani: "According to the answer that he gave, it would have covered all the way up to ... November of 2016" https://t.co/GlcWTIu29g #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/JAVzAUygoN