Trump derides 'fake' hearing, but says Cohen truthful on 'no collusion'

Cohen also said he witnessed a conversation between Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., which Cohen believes was about a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between senior campaign officials and a Russian lawyer tied to the Kremlin.

In his public testimony to the House of Representatives Oversight Committee on Wednesday, he said Mr Trump "knew of and directed" plans for a Trump Tower Moscow, while stating publicly that he had no dealings in Russian Federation.

Cohen said he was in Trump's office in July 2016 when Roger Stone, a self-described "dirty trickster" and longtime political adviser to Trump, called the then Republican presidential candidate.

'He lied about so many different things, ' Trump said without getting into specifics.

"I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a awful thing".

The bad news, according to Mr Christie, was Mr Cohen's revelation that federal prosecutors in NY were investigating Mr Trump.

He said Mr Trump had not released his tax returns because he feared that public scrutiny would lead to an audit and tax penalties. Trump said, "OK good ... let me know". "I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore".

In his third and final Capitol Hill session this week, Cohen will testify, starting at 9:30 a.m. ET (1430 GMT) and going all day, to the House Intelligence Committee.

Cohen also testified that he never travelled to Prague in order to collude with Russians in 2016, as was alleged in a dossier of intelligence memos that had been gathered by a former spy from the U.K., CNN reported.

The Republicans who controlled Congress in the first two years of Trump's administration obscured the machinations of their leadership even as evidence of criminal activity mounted. He told the panel that Trump pressured him to lie to first lady Melania Trump about the matter.

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Trump put Stone on speakerphone as Stone relayed that he had communicated with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that "within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign", Cohen said.

Cohen told the House Oversight Committee that Trump directed him a year ago to lie about hush payments made to a porn actress to silence her claims of an affair with Trump.

But Cohen said the president was careful not to directly tell him to do so. "You have heard him call poorer countries 'shitholes.' In private, he is even worse", Cohen testified.

Cohen provided the committee a copy of one check for $35,000 that he said Trump personally signed from his personal bank account while he was president. (One for tabloid chief David Pecker would be a doozy.) The hearings are diagrammed to get rid of Trump just the same, but the preferred means will be the 2020 ballot.

Mr Cohen told lawmakers Mr Trump is a racist.

"While we were once driving through a struggling neighbourhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way".

"It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes", Cohen said.

Cohen is set to begin a three-year prison sentence on Monday, May 6 - though it could be extended if the Committee determines that Cohen is not entirely truthful during Wednesday's hearing. Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) said after the hearing.

More than seven hours later, his eyes exhausted and face drawn, Cohen issued a last warning "to those who support the President and his rhetoric as I once did". The resolution is now at the Senate, where Republicans barely hold the majority, and where each Senator's vote will become a test of loyalty to the president.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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