U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said that Trump knew in advance about a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower at which Russians offered to provide damaging information about his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, CNN reported on Thursday.
And now Cohen is saying that Donald Trump Jr. did let his father know about that meeting in advance.
"If you're asking me who do I believe, the president or Michael Cohen, with what Michael Cohen may say - for instance when Michael Cohen says, now, that the president knew about the Russian Federation meeting in advance - I would believe Don Jr. and the president, in light of learning that Michael was taping conversations, the way Michael was conducting himself behind the scenes and in front of all of us", Nunberg said. "Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam", the President tweeted. "He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary's lawyer".
The president was reacting to a CNN report, citing "sources with knowledge" it didn't identify, that his former attorney, Michael Cohen, was planning to say that Trump was present when the scheduled meeting was discussed.
According to people who have discussed the matter with Cohen, he has expressed hope that this claim about the Trump Tower meeting will help him reach out to Mueller and possibly lessen his legal troubles.
Giuliani told Fox News the released audio of the tape is a "tape of a tape", meaning it's not entirely clear when the discussion between Trump and Cohen ended, whether it was cut-off prematurely or later altered.
Bernie Sanders We have got to make sure that Russia does not interfere
The shift to a credibility war signals a change in tone from Trump's legal team, which, for weeks, has downplayed concerns that Cohen could pose a legal threat to the president. "A particular focus will be Trump Jr.'s initial statement about the meeting, which turned out to be false, and which the president dictated from Air Force One while returning from Europe".
"Now that we've seen the full scope of [Michael] Cohen and Lanny Davis' deception, we don't trust anything", Giuliani said.
"Obviously if I knew that, I never would've said he was a reputable lawyer", Giuliani said.
Cohen wasn't at the Trump Tower meeting and Cohen has not offered evidence to support the claim that Trump knew about the meeting. Cohen has been hoping to use that information as a part of a deal from federal prosecutors who are investigating him.
Jay Goldberg, another former Trump lawyer, argued Friday on CNN's "Erin Burnett Out Front" that Giuliani "immeasurably" damaged his case against Cohen with the sudden shift in tone.
Trump himself jumped on the anti-Cohen bandwagon Sunday, as he retweeted a former Cohen defense of Donald Trump, Jr., regarding the Russian Federation meeting. "I want you to hear them". He said I only made it because I personally love the president and Melania.
Giuliani insisted to Fox News's Chris Wallace that he doesn't believe the president's camp is "at war" with Cohen, but his charges that Cohen is a "liar", a "manipulator" and a "scoundrel" suggested otherwise.