Ex-lawyer says Trump knew of 2016 meeting with Russians

President Trump waves after stepping off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday. He was returning from a trip to Iowa and Illinois

President Trump waves after stepping off Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday. He was returning from a trip to Iowa and Illinois

Mr Giuliani, the former NY mayor who now leads the president's personal legal team, said that Michael Cohen should release the estimated dozen tapes he had made in which he discusses paying women to cover up alleged affairs with Mr Trump.

Giuliani, one of Trump's attorneys, railed against special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian Federation interference in the election and whether Trump obstructed justice during two TV interviews Monday.

"Businessmen listen to nearly everyone who might be helpful, and by the way, they make pragmatic decisions about how to make bad stories go away", Issa added.

"Everything that's been released so far shows the president to be absolutely innocent", Giuliani said on Fox's "Fox and Friends".

On Sunday, Giuliani argued that the recordings about Mr. Trump "clearly corroborate" the president's position that he was not aware ahead of time about payments to McDougal or Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who received $150,000 from a company set up by Cohen in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair.

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Cohen has not yet made a decision to work with the federal prosecutors from the Southern District of NY, according to two people familiar with his thinking but not authorized to discuss private conversations. "He's contradicted himself so many times, you'd begin the cross-examination by saying 'which lies are you going to tell us today, Michael?'"

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN.

Giuliani also said it "sounds suspicious" that only one of 183 Cohen recordings obtained from Federal Bureau of Investigation raids on his home and office has Trump on it.

"He's been lying all week, he's been lying for years", Giuliani said on CNN. He said again that only one of those tapes contains Trump's voice.

CNN reported that Cohen claims he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians' offer by Trump Jr.in 2016.

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Giuliani said he doesn't know the contents of the other recordings but said federal prosecutors would have turned them over to him if they related to Mr. Trump.

His lawyer, Davis, a Democrat once known as a fierce defender of President Bill Clinton, would not comment on whether Cohen was fishing for a deal.

Cohen initially demonstrated an intense loyalty to Trump, once saying that he would "take a bullet" for the president.

"My observation is that it was an evolution that caused him to decide once Donald Trump was president that he had to tell truth and change his life", Davis told the AP.

"My father knew nothing of the meeting or of these events", he said in a statement issued July 9, 2017.

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Giuliani's claim came after he initially described the recording as "powerful exculpatory evidence" favorable to the president. As recently as May, Giuliani called Cohen "an honest, honorable lawyer". Trump wrote. "How stupid and unfair to our Country". The meeting was also attended by Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law.

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