US President Donald Trump has defended a business project he was pursuing in Russia back in 2016 even after Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer, confessed that he had lied to Congress about the project.
Cohen had initially said that Trump’s exploration of a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow was dropped in January 2016, well before Trump became the official Republican candidate.
However on Thursday, Cohen reached a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into alleged Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election, and then admitted he had submitted a false statement to Congress last year.
He confessed the project had been discussed multiple times within the company even after January 2016, adding talks to obtain Russian governmental approval were still underway as late as June of the same year.
Trump, in a series of tweets from Buenos Aires, where he was attending the G20 summit Friday, described his business deal in Moscow as “very legal & very cool.”
Following Cohen’s admission, the president slammed his confession, calling his former lawyer very weak.
He said Cohen was “lying” in order to receive a reduced sentence.
During his election campaign, Trump repeatedly said he had no ties to Russia and in a tweet in July 2016, he said, “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.”